“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is scathing about the reappointment of Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian which was endorsed by parliament on Thursday. “It is understandable why Robert Kocharian insists every time that he be the prosecutor-general,” writes the paper. “In essence, this position has nothing to do with fighting crime in Armenia and is rather a political lever which the authorities use not against criminals, but their political opponents. This is the reason why Kocharian insisted on [Hovsepian’s] candidacy without any hesitation.” The paper claims that Hovsepian would not have been appointed for another, six-year term if his main job was to combat crime, especially considering continuing high-profile killings committed in Armenia.
“Lawlessness will continue for six more years,” declares another pro-opposition publication, “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “It was very symbolic that on the day of the prosecutor-general’s election residents of Vanadzor, who suffered at the hands of the agency headed by Aghvan Hovsepian, gathered outside the National Assembly building. They came to detail brutalities committed by Mr. Hovsepian’s subordinates, to tell how they humiliated and cursed murder witnesses. Even if only half of what they said about prosecutors’ actions in Vanadzor is true, any deputy respecting himself should have voted against the head of such a structure and in no case agreed to let him run the lawless structure for six more years.”
“Aravot” looks at the “political potential” of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), the former ruling party, in an editorial. “Fortunately, the quality of the former ruling party has remained unchanged, to a certain degree, over the past 12 years. But its quantity is almost gone,” says the paper, explaining that many HHSh members have defected to other political groups loyal to the current authorities, including the Republican Party. It says the only thing they care about is to be as close to government as possible and make money, often by illegal means.
“We need an ability to bring our mentality into conformity with the interests of our statehood,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Levon Ter-Petrosian is an embodiment of that ability, an expression of how one can sober up in crunch time, find a way out of desperation, be an aggressor when necessary, be a pacifist when necessary. This is more than the trivial task of holding or not holding on to power. But unfortunately, our policy and our perception of statehood does not go beyond this primitive thinking.”
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Ter-Petrosian allies and supporters are “terribly worried” about the fact that Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian is seen as the favorite to win the 2008 presidential election. “The endless search for an alternative candidate centers on the question of who will be his main rival,” says the paper. “That is to say that … the fight is for second place.”
“Taregir” claims that Hakob Hakobian, a controversial businessman and former parliament deputy, has paid $1.5 million to avoid prosecution on charges of fraud and assault. The paper says its “informed sources” would not say for now who was the recipient of the bribe.