(Saturday, October 13)
The decision by Armenia’s Council of Justice to recommend the dismissal of the embattled judge Pargev Ohanian makes front-page headlines in Saturday’s Armenian newspapers.
“Hayk” recalls that Ohanian was among those judges who sentenced hundreds of opposition supporters and activists to up to 15 days’ imprisonment in 2003 and 2004 in closed trials held at night. Furthermore, Ohanian was the one who jailed for 18 months a young opposition activist who threw a plastic bottle at a police officer. “But when one day Ohanian found the courage not to execute a government order, the Council of Justice immediately began scrutinizing his activities,” comments the paper.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that representatives of more than two dozen non-governmental organizations met on Friday to voice support for former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s participation in the upcoming presidential election. They also expressed readiness to render “comprehensive assistance” to Ter-Petrosian’s presidential bid. “In the coming days an office will be opened in the center of Yerevan where supporters of Levon Ter-Petrosian will gather, discuss their actions, make proposals and work for Levon Ter-Petrosian,” says the paper.
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian is “seriously worried” about Ter-Petrosian’s participation in the 2008 elections. The paper claims that Kim Balayan, a Constitutional Court judge formerly affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), was insulted by Sarkisian when he invited the latter to his birthday anniversary party. Sarkisian allegedly blasted Balayan for not preventing the sensational meeting between Ter-Petrosian and Dashnaktsutyun leaders. “It is not clear how Balayan should have disrupted that meeting. What is clear is that Serzh Sarkisian is losing his composure,” concludes the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that many of the few thoroughfares in Yerevan not undergoing reconstruction were closed for traffic during Friday’s celebration of the city anniversary. That caused a major disruption in the already chaotic traffic in the city center. “There is nothing to be surprised with,” comments the paper. “Look at them carefully: Robert Kocharian, Serzh Sarkisian, [Deputy Prime Minister] Hovik Abrahamian, [Yerevan Mayor] Yervand Zakharian. None of them was born in Yerevan. That is why they celebrate Yerevan’s holiday at the expense of Yerevan residents.”