“Aravot” says that “mass public struggle” is the only way of fighting for justice in Armenia, as opposed to mere calls for regime change. “It’s just that we need a society to do that,” muses the paper.
“With everyone saying unanimously that the HHK candidate will become president and not doubting that it will be Serzh Sarkisian and asserting with the same conviction that Robert Kocharian will become prime minister, we allow ourselves to correct that conviction,” writes “Azg.” “Because after supporting its leader and making him a president no majority will allow anybody else to gain [power] levers. There are all the grounds to doubt that in case of his election Serzh Sarkisian will want to become a queen of England and to contend with the same grounds that in all likelihood he will not help Robert Kocharian become prime minister.” The paper claims that Kocharian will therefore support other pro-establishment candidates during the 2008 presidential election. It says both Kocharian and Sarkisian will be disinterested in the nomination of a single opposition candidate.
“The fact remains that Kocharian has neither the desire nor the option to retire [from government,]” comments “Taregir.” “Because there is nobody in the republic who would guarantee … the future security and safety of Kocharian by 100 percent. More precisely, there are many such guarantors, but Kocharian has no reason to fully trust any of them.” The paper speculates that he therefore has no choice but to seek a third term in office or to be appointed prime minister by “some weak president handpicked by him.” And Serzh Sarkisian, it says, is anything but weak.
For “168 Zham,” the acquittal of two arrested top executives of the Royal Armenia coffee company, who dared to cross swords with the “corrupt state system,” was sensational only “at first glance.” The paper says that they were cleared of controversial fraud charges because the authorities are “taking every opportunity to raise their rating” ahead of the approaching presidential election. “Their fruitless attempts, however, are positive in the sense that innocent people imprisoned by them are saved as a result,” it says.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” likewise asserts that the surprise court verdict was “agreed” with the authorities. “There are no miracles in our country, and no judge is crazy enough to hand down such verdicts on his own,” comments the paper. “But part of being a good judge is to be able to convince those above him that passing a guilty verdict on such a case is not possible, that facts existing in the case do not allow for that. In effect, Pargev Ohanian (the judge who acquitted the businessmen) succeeded in doing that. Kudos to him!”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” hails not only Ohanian but the two defendants, Gagik Hakobian and Aram Ghazarian. “They consistently fought against the customs lawlessness and managed to hold firm,” explains the paper. “For even when fighting seemed meaningless, they continued their struggle. In fact, this is a new behavior, new quality for a wealthy entrepreneur. As a rule, Armenian entrepreneurs are used to flattering, cozying up to state officials.”