(Saturday, October 6)
“Hayk” carries a report on former president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s latest public meetings in Armenia’s southern Syunik province. The paper writes that numerous local Karabakh movement veterans had come to meet the first president in the town of Sisian. According to the paper, the region’s governor Surik Khachatrian, who was also among those invited to attend the meeting, failed to come citing a busy work schedule, but regretted it in a telephone conversation: “You should have told me earlier?”
Ter-Petrosian reportedly stated at the end of the meeting that while before that [meeting] he had estimated the chances of his nomination for presidency at 30 to 70, then now it was about fifty-fifty.
“Hayots Ashkhar”, considering it a normal phenomenon when people noted for liberal and revolutionary views in their early adulthood become more conservative as they grow older, calls it a tragedy for the former president and his loyalists that they fail to change as time goes on. “Otherwise how can you explain their calls for “dissolving” and “disbanding”? A revolution again?” the paper asks.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” presents the text of a statement by an unidentified initiator that was recently distributed among a dozen opposition political parties.
The statement, in particular, urges all opposition forces considering themselves to be democratic to unite in the run-up to the presidential election. “The inability of Armenia’s former and current authorities to meet the external and domestic challenges and find effective ways of solving people’s problems is beyond doubt…,” it says, stressing that Armenia’s former and incumbent leadership “are linked to each other with a navel-string”, which accounts for the “deep disillusionment” among a majority of people.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports an outrageous case of “bureaucracy” revealed by its staff writer at Armenia’s diplomatic mission in Moscow as Armenia’s consul and embassy spokesperson effectively refused to divulge any information about the health condition of the Armenian lawmaker assaulted in the Russian capital a week before and report on any progress in the investigation of the case:
“Consul Hayk Hakobian told us on the phone that even though by force of his office he was supposed to be informed about the case, he wasn’t obliged to talk to the press about that. Instead, he referred us to the spokesman. We asked him to give us the contact phone number for the spokesman and then we understood that we, indeed, dealt with an Armenian bureaucrat. First Hakobian asked us to hold on a second while he was checking on that information. Then he got in touch with embassy spokesman Gevorg Minasian through the internal telephone service.”
The paper quotes verbatim the part of the conversation of the two Armenian diplomats that its reporter could overhear while hanging on the phone: “Gevorg, a reporter from Chorrord Ishkhanutyun is calling to learn something in connection with what happened to Tigran Arzakantsian. They say the case is a hot topic. He cannot hear me right now. So, should I get rid of him? Do you want me to give him your phone number? It’s up to you. You may choose not to pick up the phone.”
And the paper concludes: “After this ‘diplomatic’ conversation, with a diplomat’s politeness Hayk Hakobian returned to us and gave Minasian’s phone number. When we phoned Minasian seconds later, naturally we heard the answer that he was not there.”