“Azg” continues to discuss the newly appointed executive director of the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan, Vahe Aghabekiants, outlining his biography and professional background. Born in Iran, Aghabekian studied and did business in the United States before moving to Armenia and taking over as adviser to Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian in 1999. In the last one and a half years he has mainly worked on rural development programs presented by the Armenian government to Diaspora donors. “I am one of those lucky Diaspora Armenians who dreamed about independent Armenia and has now an opportunity to turn Armenia into a country of our dreams,” he told Hayastan’s Board of Trustees this week.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), Never Poghosian, was appointed as governor of the eastern Gegharkunik province on Thursday. Poghosian is a godson of BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian and used to hold senior positions in the Armenian police. “The newly appointed governor is notorious for his brutality,” writes the paper. “Just a few months ago he beat up his own son-in-law so severely that the latter was taken to hospital. Later on, the former regional police chief smashed the son-in-law’s car. So one should beware the new governor.”
“Hayk” claims that the newly reelected parliament speaker Tigran Torosian might soon be appointed as Armenia’s ambassador to the Council of Europe and replaced by Karen Karapetian, the new leader of the governing Republican Party’s parliament faction. “This is part of Serzh Sarkisian’s scenario which was revealed by a member of the Republican Party,” says the paper. “According to some reports, Karapetian is against this variant but has not yet found ways of influencing Sarkisian. Torosian too is against this variant. He, however, is resigned to his fate.”
“Today every sensible politician, whether he supports or opposes the government, clearly understands that in order to have chances of success in the 2008 presidential elections the opposition must act with a single candidate,” writes “Iskakan Iravunk.” However, notes the paper, at least one opposition leader, Aram Karapetian of the Nor Zhamanakner party, stated this week that he will run for president in any case. “Besides, he has become so arrogant of late that he now considers personal contacts with journalists to be shameful and has begun communicating with the media only through his spokesman,” it says.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that some participants of anti-government rallies held by the Impeachment bloc have been subjected to government intimidation. “One of our interlocutors, whose car license plates were recorded near the Matenadaran [museum,] was summoned to the traffic police. When they saw that he is an elderly person they let him go but advised him to stay away from rallies,” says the paper. “Another interlocutor, who resides outside Yerevan and is an active participant of the rallies, found himself in a more serious situation. He was summoned to the National Security Service and kept there for several hours. The person, who is reputed to be courageous and fearless in his area and is a diehard oppositionist, was so scared that he promised not to attend rallies anymore.”