(Saturday, April 28)
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says that President Robert Kocharian’s accusations of treason directed at former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian were “not accidental.” Citing unnamed sources, the paper reports that Kocharian and his closest associates have decided to thwart the entry of Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party into Armenia’s new parliament. They will instead “take” Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun party to the National Assembly, it claims.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the National Security Service (NSS) launched an internal inquiry into the secret recording of Baghdasarian’s conversation with Britain’s deputy ambassador to Armenia, Richard Hyde. “According to our information, as a result of the inquiry, the National Security Service was supposed to establish … how the secretly recorded material ended up in the press,” claims the paper. However, the NSS denies any role in the recording. “Despite this statement, many don’t even doubt that the Orinats Yerkir leader was eavesdropped on by the National Security Service,” notes the paper.
“Interestingly, the approaches of both Robert Kocharian and Artur Baghdasarian are the same,” comments “168 Zham.” “Somehow, Kocharian is sparing ‘traitor’ Baghdasarian and finding tough action against him wrong, while Baghdasarian is sparing the authorities and not suing them for slander. Paradoxically, the justifications of both sides are correct: both those who play clandestine games with foreign diplomats and those who rig elections and, for that matter, referendums are traitors. And Artur Baghdasarian falls under both of these categories.”
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” confusion over the Karabakh-related wording of the U.S. State Department’s human rights report will persist as long as Washington regards the unresolved conflict as a “simple tool of wooing one of the parties or dictating to the other in order to solve its current political issues.” “As a consequence, they set up traps for pre-election Armenia or anti-Iranian Azerbaijan and, after themselves falling into them, start spinning around their shadow,” says the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the governing Republican Party of Armenia is using a famous song written by French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour in memory of 1988 earthquake victims for its high-profile election campaign. “Considering that the song had been written on the occasion of the great Spitak earthquake when half of the republic was in ruins, one can assume that this is how the Republicans sees the current economic situation in Armenia,” the paper comments tartly, expressing hope that voters will appreciate this “self-criticism.”