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Press Review


A “Haykakan Zhamanak” editorial looks at the television coverage of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Friday speech and his successor Robert Kocharian’s response to it. “Of course, the TV viewer knows that Levon Ter-Petrosian delivered a speech and can guess from Kocharian’s reaction to it that he said bad things about the authorities,” says the paper. “But the TV viewer does not know what exactly the founding president of Armenia said. None of the country’s TV companies found it appropriate to fully broadcast the first speech by the founding president of the republic in ten years, even though they take great pleasure in broadcasting judgments about that speech.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” is certain that Ter-Petrosian’s speech would have attracted a “huge” TV audience if it was aired by local broadcasters. “But the fact is that such a thing did not happen because TV air is under Kocharian’s control,” it says.

“When Robert Kocharian came to Armenia and took over the post of prime minister in 1997, he certainly didn’t have a big fortune,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “All of us remember how he and his family members were dressed [at the time,] and it is known that there were few opportunities for making lots of money in Karabakh. Now, according to various international estimates, his family is worth $2-2.5 billion.” The increase in Armenia’s state budget since then has been more modest, the paper concludes sarcastically.

For “Hayots Ashkhar,” Ter-Petrosian’s advocacy of a dismantling of Armenia’s existing government system was an “open call for violence,” rather than a “supreme manifestation of democracy.” “By the same token, Robert Kocharian’s remark that if the former president enters political struggle, he will become an ordinary opposition figure and face all resulting consequences can not be interpreted as a threat,” writes the paper. Kocharian simply “noted a fact,” it says.

“Hayk” looks at the fact that Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian publicly announced his decision to run for president during a visit to Moscow. “He is trying to give the impression that he secured the go-ahead of the Russian Federation’s authorities,” comments the paper. “In all likelihood, they did not object to his nomination in Moscow and [Serzh] Azatych got so thrilled that he rushed to trumpet his nomination.” “It is extremely painful that a person aspiring to the post of president, who had incidentally received a medal from the Russian Federation’s FSB [security service] in the past, wants to occupy the country’s highest post in this way,” adds “Hayk.”

(Atom Markarian)
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