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Press Review


“Aravot” says that Levon Ter-Petrosian is right to set the release of his jailed loyalists as a precondition for engaging in dialogue with the authorities. “If you stretch your hand to someone, the hand of your potential interlocutor must not be chained,” reasons the paper. “If you claim that your opponent is a criminal, why are you stretching your hand in the first place? The authorities say that the arrested oppositionists are criminals, but those claims are not seen as trustworthy by the public. The accusation of attempted coup d’etat can be slapped on any oppositionist. The same is true for illegal arms and ammunition possession.”

“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” quotes a spokesman for President Robert Kocharian as defending the de facto government ban on Ter-Petrosian rallies. “By demanding permission for more rallies, forces supporting Ter-Petrosian effectively demand a permission for new riots and clashes,” says Victor Soghomonian. He also accuses the Ter-Petrosian camp of continuing to “disseminate hatred and intolerance.”

“Almost everyone in Armenia is now convinced that Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian confuse our country with a Soviet collective farm,” writes “Hayk.” “Accordingly, they confuse [the Council of Europe’s] Ago Group with inspectors sent by a [Communist Party] district committee. As long as the group is in Yerevan, they are trying to leave the impression that no illegal acts are committed here … Naturally, after the inspectors’ departure, it will be business as usual in the collective farm will return to normal and illegalities will continue. Those who dared to complain to the inspectors are, to put it mildly, will be punished.”

“168 Zham” quotes Zeyno Baran, a Washington-based political pundit, as dismissing speculation that the United States has supported Ter-Petrosian’s bid to return to power. “I have not seen any indications or heard any statements to the effect that the U.S. government officially supports Levon Ter-Petrosian to the detriment of Serzh Sarkisian,” Baran said in an interview with Mediamax news agency. “Washington respects the election results and will work with the man whom Armenians will elect as their president.”

(Atom Markarian)
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