“Iravunk” quotes an unnamed senior member of the former ruling HHSh party as saying that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian pursued two goals with his speech. “First, he was trying to dispel suspicions among both the public some of his sympathizers, which appeared in the press and were fanned by political circles, that the unprecedented increase in his political activity resulted from certain deals with the current authorities and Serzh Sarkisian in particular,” he says. “Second, [he wanted] to force the government propaganda machine to open fire prematurely and expose its arsenal of black PR to be used against Ter-Petrosian.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” says that judging from accusations traded by the authorities and the Ter-Petrosian camp through their loyal newspapers, the two sides are heading for a “bitter war of compromising materials.” “Robert Kocharian will hardly suffer from that war because he will quit the political arena soon, and the war of compromising materials initiated by him will hit the [presidential] candidate he supports,” speculates the paper. “Namely, Serzh Sarkisian. Thus, with his sharp and swift response to Levon Ter-Petrosian, he effectively paid a lip service to the Armenian prime minister.”
“That Armenia won the war is beyond doubt,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Everyone claims credit for that victory. [Opposition leader] Vazgen Manukian is among the winners, [the Republican Party’s] Samvel Nikoyan is the victory’s dad, not to mention to Shavarsh Kocharian and Arshak Sadoyan.” “All of them won and the only loser is Levon Ter-Petrosian,” the paper adds with sarcasm. “They will probably place [the late] Vazgen Sarkisian among the losers. And this is no accident. This is a policy.”
“Taregir” says Manukian and Kocharian, Ter-Petrosian’s “first and last prime ministers,” have no moral right to attack the former president. “Don’t the former prime ministers feel guilty or at least responsible for the period of their premiership, and do they consider themselves the only bight spots in our murky past?” asks the pro-Ter-Petrosian paper.
“Hayk” points to Russian press reports that quoted a senior police official as saying that Tigran Arzakantsian, a parliament deputy and businessman seriously wounded in a Moscow casino, was hunted by Russian law-enforcement in the late 1990s for an armed assault. The paper also claims that among the casino’s owners are Armenian nationals.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on a recent increase in the prices of key food products such as bread and butter. “Some consider that a deliberate effort to drastically increase public discontent with the authorities ahead of the presidential elections,” writes the paper. “Others believe that some people are trying to cash in on this turbulent post-election period and make extra profits. Others think that importers are thereby making up for the taxes which they were forced to pay in advance.”