“Aravot” is ambivalent about the sacking of Deputy Defense Minister Manvel Grigorian, describing the influential army general as a complex and contradictory figure. “First of all, he is a war hero whose feats require utmost respect from all of us,” editorializes the paper. “Secondly, he is an oligarch who, like other oligarchs, has plundered the people. And finally, in the past several months he has distinguished himself as a supporter of [Levon] Ter-Petrosian, a civic stance which also deserves respect.”
“Manvel is not the only general who has businesses not controlled by law,” continues “Aravot.” “He is not the only official whose relatives behave in an unruly manner … Manvel would have had all of his sins forgiven had he stood by the authorities and glorified and flattered relevant officials. But the general was not scared of expressing his sympathy for Ter-Petrosian and that is what he got punished for.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that Grigorian’s sacking was not just government retribution for his support for the opposition. “Throughout his presidency Robert Kocharian has shown that he has one concern: personal career, personal welfare,” says the opposition paper. “And since he failed to solve the issue of staying on [in power,] he is trying to at least secure his quiet retirement. All of his actions of recent months have demonstrated that he does not trust anyone on that score. Not even Serzh Sarkisian.”
“Azg” criticizes the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition as “maximalist.” “Even now they want full power or nothing,” says the paper. “They continue to want the dismantling of the old [system.]” It says Ter-Petrosian and parties supporting him should have contested the May 2007 parliamentary elections and fought for their cause in the parliament instead.
Writing in his paper, Nikol Pashinian, the fugitive editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak,” continues to defend the opposition actions during and after the presidential election. “The rallies were absolutely legal and even Robert Kocharian admitted that,” he says.