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Press Review


Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” a senior member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Armen Ashotian, accuses Levon Ter-Petrosian and his campaigners of trying to “misappropriate Karen Demirchian’s and Vazgen Sarkisian’s images and political ratings and the people’s memory.” Ashotian says they are ignoring the fact that “Vazgen Sarkisian was the main political factor behind Levon Ter-Petrosian’s loss of power.” “And Ter-Petrosian continues to speak against Karen Demirchian,” he says. “Although he is presenting his statements as an evaluation of the Soviet era, he is entirely laying the blame on Karen Demirchian.”

“Zhamanak Yerevan” suspects that the authorities are trying to prepare the public for Serzh Sarkisian’s first-round victory in the presidential election.” “That this is a primitive propaganda ploy on the part of the authorities aimed at preparing ideological ground for the future number fixing is beyond doubt,” says the pro-opposition paper.

According to “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun,” if one is to believe Ter-Petrosian, “the Armenian people have changed their views on the Karabakh conflict and agree with the settlement path proposed by Levon Ter-Petrosian.” The government paper insists that there is no “public demand” for Ter-Petrosian’s return to power. It says there might have been such demand had Ter-Petrosian “stayed in popular memory as a particularly democratic president and had people thought that his return to power would address the lack of democracy in Armenia.” But Ter-Petrosian can not be seen as a democrat because of his conduct of the fraudulent 1996 presidential election, according to “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.”

“Hayk” quotes opposition leader Aram Sarkisian as playing down the possible impact on the election of “administrative resources” wielded by the government candidate. “There has arisen a situation in Armenia in which vote bribes and administrative resources will play no role,” he says.

“Azg” wonders why Armenia’s intelligentsia is “keeping silent on the eve of the presidential elections.” “In the past, at least during presidential elections, the intelligentsia would rise up and show compassion for the future of its own people,” says the paper. “But now one can not see a single intellectual going public and speaking of the people’s interests.” This is so, it says, because the intelligentsia has grown “intertwined with government factions deciding who is a writer, painter or architect.”

(Atom Markarian)
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