An editorial in “Haykakan Zhamanak” stresses the need for Armenia to have “normal relations” with all of its neighbors. “In our country the idea of security is hardly different from the medieval one which considered military might as the main guarantee of security,” writes the paper. “This idea certainly makes us subservient to Russia from which we constantly take military hardware and put it on display in our military parades. Of course, this path has its logic. But it is very outdated because even if we continue down this path we will not be able to create armies comparable to the armies of Turkey or Iran in the foreseeable future.”
“Azerbaijan is able to boost its military spending, while Georgia is slowly but steadily getting into the anti-Armenian context,” adds “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims to have uncovered a “new mechanism for rigging the forthcoming parliamentary elections.” The paper says the authorities have decided to make up vote protocols in advance and imitate free elections on polling day. “In the meantime, representatives of various government parties are busy collecting people’s passports in order to photocopy voters’ passport data and, most importantly, signatures.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments scathingly on opposition leader Artashes Geghamian’s allegations that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian sought to have businessman Gagik Tsarukian assassinated. The paper says Geghamian needed a cheap publicity stunt before kicking off his election campaign.
“Aravot” reports that Gagik Shamshian, a freelance journalist and photographer, will go on trial Wednesday on charges of fraud and slander. His defense lawyer, Zaruhi Postanjian is quoted as saying that the outcome of the trial is “unpredictable.” “Especially considering the fact that our courts can even sentence innocent people to life imprisonment,” Postanjian tells the paper. She says the criminal case against Shamshian is aimed at intimidating journalists critical of the government during the unfolding election period.
“Iravunk” reports that several Armenian parties will withdraw from the electoral race and urge supporters to vote for Samvel Babayan’s Dashink party. Commenting on the information, a senior member of Dashink, Gnel Ghalechian says that Babayan is holding consultation with a “pretty large segment of the opposition camp” and that some opposition forces may indeed team up with him.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports on what it calls a botched attempt on the life of the military police chief in Vartenis, a small town in northeastern Armenia. The paper claims that the Vartenis police are reluctant to arrest a local crime figure who is believed to have tried to kill Misak Sahakian. It says Sahakian is close to the influential chairman of the Yerkrapah Union, General Manvel Grigorian.