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Press Review


“Aravot” accuses law-enforcement authorities of hushing up violent incidents involving government officials, wealthy businessmen and their relatives. “It is the police who must tell the truth in the first place,” editorializes the paper. “But as is known, if those brawls involve relatives or armed servants of oligarchs or senior officials, law-enforcers try to cover up reality. When they fail to that, they present extremely diluted versions of events. After all this it can be concluded that such incidents will continue.”

“You can’t succeed by copying American standards for pleasing voters,” “Hayots Ashkhar” writes, commenting on opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s poor showing in the weekend repeat election to the Armenian parliament. “By initiating street marches on the eve of elections or on election day or … by shaking hands, with a Hollywood smile, with every potential voter, it may be possible to create a degree of sympathy in the capital. But not in the republic’s regions.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that contrary to expectations, Vahram Barseghian, the recently appointed head of Armenia’s State Tax Service (STS), has not embarked on major personnel changes in the agency. The paper says this is so because Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian instructed Barseghian to avoid firing any STS official in the next few months. “In fact, that instruction was voiced when Vahram Barseghian was introduced to the service [last month,]” it says. “Serzh Sarkisian did not explain the instruction in any way. But everyone understood what is going on. Until the presidential elections nobody must feel hurt by Serzh Sarkisian and individuals appointed by him.”

“Zhamanak Yerevan” says that one of Armenia’s two cement factories located in the southern town of Ararat is to be sold to a Russian company. The paper claims that the deal will be a further indication that President Robert Kocharian is “turning his assets in Armenia into cash ahead of the elections.”

“Taregir” says that former Levon Ter-Petrosian’s continuing visits to various regions testify to his impending political comeback. The paper says in an editorial that Ter-Petrosian will join the presidential race only if he is certain that “his return is desirable for the people” and that “his victory is beyond doubt.” “This will become pretty much clear in case Levon Ter-Petrosian holds rallies in the capital,” it says. “In any case, the first president no longer has time to think. Perhaps he doesn’t need that time because he seems to have made up his mind.”

(Atom Markarian)
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