Commenting on the sixth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, “Hayk” notes the fact that many U.S. security officials were “responsible” enough to step down in view of their failure to avert the tragedy. “In Armenia, however, they not only fail to resign but aspire to higher posts. The posts of defense minister, prime minister and even president of the republic,” the paper says in an apparent reference to Serzh Sarkisian, who was Armenia’s national security minister during the October 1999 shootings in parliament. It recalls that among those demanding Sarkisian’s resignation were senior members of the Republican Party who are now “tools in his hands.”
“Levon Ter-Petrosian’s nomination for the Armenian presidency could introduce a political debate into the upcoming election campaign,” editorializes “Aravot.” “With his ideas he would markedly differ from all pro-government and opposition candidates. Incidentally, the latter would have to act in a united front because in essence they are carriers of the same ideology. Chances are that the first president’s personal integrity and patriotism could contribute to the dismantling of the current system. A system in which corruption and embezzlement are organized on the state level.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on President Robert Kocharian’s efforts to secure a parliamentary confirmation of his decision to reappoint Aghvan Hovsepian as prosecutor-general. “Although there is no doubt that the parliament will rubber stamp the decision, the prosecuting system is working hard to enable Aghvan Hovsepian to surprise Armenian society from the parliament podium,” writes the paper. “We are talking about methods used for solving the murder of Lori Prosecutor Albert Ghazarian. Though in this case the word solve must probably be put in quotation marks.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports on allegations by individuals arrested in connection with the murder that were badly mistreated in custody. The suspects voiced those allegations through a local TV station at the weekend. “This is the first time that Vanadzor television broadcast such a program, even though there have been many cases [of police torture] in the past that did not attract public attention,” the paper says. This is so, it says, because the torture victims work for a nephew of Vanadzor Mayor Samvel Darpinian. “So nobody can be immune to illegality when the whole country is mired in illegality,” concludes “Zhamanak Yerevan.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at a slight depreciation of the Armenian dram registered in recent days. “It may be that [the exchange rate fluctuations] are connected, in one way or another, with inflationary pressures present in Armenia,” says the paper. It suggests that demand in the U.S. dollar may also result from a further increase in Armenian imports.