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Press Review


“As was expected, the pre-election campaign that has effectively started in Armenia has become very destructive and personalized because all participants are now fixated on Levon Ter-Petrosian,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Nervous and tense campaigns are now conducted by those who have a vested interest in seeing one or another candidate become president of the Republic of Armenia. There are thousands of such people, and it is natural they are the ones who talk during the elections.”

Aram Safarian, a senior member of the pro-presidential Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that he was not impressed by Ter-Petrosian’s Friday speech. “Levon Ter-Petrosian did not come up even with a new, alternative ploy,” he says. “He presented himself with old ideas that were already flatly rejected by the people … How can you return to politics with old, ineffective techniques, rejected ideas and try to push the political field back to an environment of mutual hatred?”

“Hayk” attacks President Robert Kocharian for “threatening” Ter-Petrosian on Tuesday. The pro-Ter-Petrosian paper ridicules Kocharian’s remark that Yerevan streets are now much better lit than they were under his predecessor. “Kocharian, who was a field commander in the past, will probably find time to recall how many dollars a single day of war with Azerbaijan took away from Armenia,” it says. “If Kocharian keeps silent and says nothing, we will publish data. We will also inform readers how much Azerbaijan’s budget was worth in 1996 and now.”

“I have a lot of respect for the first president but our views on the settlement of the Artsakh (Karabakh) problem seem to remain radically different from each other,” Samvel Babayan, Karabakh’s former army commander, tells “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “If Levon Ter-Petrosian decides to stand [in the elections] and presents his programs, it will be easier to note the similarities and differences in our views and to draw certain conclusions.”

A senior member of the opposition People’s Party (HZhK), Ruzan Khachatrian, tells “Zhamanak Yerevan” that Kocharian’s remark that Ter-Petrosian will become an “ordinary opposition politician” if he joins the presidential race was a thinly veiled threat. “Being an ordinary oppositionist in Armenia means that they can attack your office, smash, arrest and do other things,” she says. “Being an ordinary oppositionist in Armenia means being in danger.”

(Atom Markarian)
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