“When Dashnaktsutyun newspapers were closed down in 1994 by a decree of President Levon Ter-Petrosian, Dashnaktsutyun used its Diaspora potential and made such a big global outcry that, according to former government members, the issue was raised with Armenian [government] delegations during every seminar … held abroad,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “Of course, Dashnaktsutyun did not quite care at the time about the supremacy of our ‘national dignity’ when it trumpeted its troubles all over the world, put the country’s garbage on display, and played with the state’s reputation.” “But now that it is in power Dashnaktsutyun has become more cautious, looking at national dignity in a different way, especially when it comes not to its newspapers but, say, Radio Liberty.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” points to a perceived flaw in Armenia’s Election Code. “Neither the Election Code, nor the constitution amended by fraudulent means contains a provision banning an incumbent parliament deputy from getting a second, third or fourth mandate,” the paper writes, expressing its displeasure with opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s decision to contest an upcoming repeat election to the National Assembly.
“Hayk” is surprised by strong interest shown by controversial pro-government lawmakers in the Armenian parliament’s new committee dealing with human rights. The paper reports that Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian’s brother Henrik and a deputy affiliated with the Prosperous Armenia Party have quit another parliament panel to join the committee. “These deputies are worthy of the honor of sitting on that committee because they have violated the rights of Armenian citizens as frequently as their colleagues,” it says scathingly.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” praises Felix Tsolakian for not changing his “lifestyle and habits” during his four-year tenure at the helm of Armenia’s State Tax Service. “He continues to live in his father’s house in [the town of] Masis, has not acquired expensive cars, and it must be noted that his assets have not grown bigger during all these years. Besides, Tsolakian’s interests have never gone beyond the area overseen by him. As they say, he has not meddled in other areas.” This, according to the paper, is not true for the new STS chief, Vahram Barseghian. It says Barseghian has been a keen participant of behind-the-scene government intrigues aimed at undercutting some individuals and promoting others.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the STS and the State Customs Committee might be merged into a single agency soon. The pro-government paper explains that the separate existence of the tax and customs services “creates favorable conditions for shadowy businesses,” even if the government has successfully met its rising revenue targets.