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Press Review


“168 Zham” attacks the Armenian government over the format and outcome of its negotiations with Azerbaijan, saying that the “victorious policy” promised by President Robert Kocharian in 1998 has yielded no results. The paper echoes opposition claims that Yerevan has helped Baku to drive Nagorno-Karabakh out of the negotiating process.

“Aravot” editorializes on fresh rumors about former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s impending return to active politics. “Becoming president requires three kinds of resources: political, public and material,” writes the paper. “The situation is as follows. First of all, parties ready to support Ter-Petrosian are weak, disorganized and fragmented. Secondly, public attitudes towards the first years of our independence are overwhelmingly negative. And thirdly, it makes no sense to even talk about [Ter-Petrosian’s] material resources.” The paper believes that Ter-Petrosian is well aware of this reality. “So the question of Ter-Petrosian’s nomination [as a presidential candidate] can simply be removed from the agenda,” it concludes.

“Azg” reports that Naira Melkumian, executive director of the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan, was relieved of her duties and replaced by Vahe Aghabekian, an adviser to Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian. “He is totally unknown individual not only for Diasporan but even informed Armenian circles,” comments the paper. “The post of fund executive director is one requiring great authority, broad acclaim and sympathy and a great of responsibility. Even representatives of Soviet Armenia’s totalitarian regime understood that.”

“Zhamanak Yerevan” says the criminal case against Aleksandr Arzumanian, the arrested former interior minister, is in “deadlock.” “The investigating body does not know what to do,” claims the paper. “Especially given the fact that the [two-month] arrest period expires on July 7 … Arzumanian’s lawyer Hovik Arsenian assures that he will soon be released. That is to say that our law-enforcement system is looking for an explanation for the release.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Gyumri’s embattled Mayor Vartan Ghukasian, whose fugitive son is wanted by the police, looks set to avoid dismissal. The paper claims that police investigators confiscated $700,000 worth of cash from his brother’s home. “Well-informed sources contend that what was found during searches conducted in the Ghukasians’ houses was confiscated. But it ended up not in the state budget but in a totally different place. And for Vartan Ghukasian that was the price of clinging to the post of Gyumri mayor … They are confident in Gyumri that Ghukasian has once again gotten off lightly.”

(Armen Dulian)
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