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Press Review


“Zhamanak Yerevan” challenges government claims that opposition supporters camped in Yerevan’s Liberty Square were dispersed because of their refusal to let the police search their tents for weapons. “Was 15 minutes enough for conducting a search in Liberty Square on the morning of March 1 given that there were more than 200 tents and about 3,000 participants of the sit-in on that day?” asks the paper. It also points out that the square was quickly washed and cleared of possible traces of crimes allegedly committed by protesters.

“Hraparak” says that the accusation of a attempted “usurpation of power” leveled against organizers and participants of the post-election protests is “crazy.” “In their actions the authorities are guided by the paranoid notion that the entire public potentially wants to either usurp power or provoke mass disturbances,” comments the paper.

“The main organizer and culprit of the March 1 clashes with law-enforcement officials is Levon Ter-Petrosian,” Razmik Zohrabian, the deputy chairman of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Today he is freely continuing those provocative and subversive activities … He has misled and led many truly innocent and naïve people but does not have the courage to assume responsibility for their fate. Levon Ter-Petrosian has not been under house arrest and was able to lead the people who took to the streets [on March 1.] He knew that among those people are individuals carrying firearms and other weapons and that shootings, clashes and brawls are possible. He thought only about his own security and avoided going to the scene.”

“Aravot” pounces on former President Robert Kocharian’s remark, made in an interview with the Mediamax news agency, that he can now freely speak his mind because he is not in office anymore. “Note that Mr. Kocharian’s vocabulary was never quite restricted even when he occupied the high post of president,” editorializes the paper, listing his famous hard-hitting descriptions of his political rivals. “If the former president thinks that now is the time to further expand his vocabulary, then he is wrong. The thing is that for his supporters, 17 ‘responsible’ TV companies and several newspapers Robert Kocharian remains a moral authority, a benchmark for high intellect, and they imitate the second president’s style and discourse.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the government’s pledges to spur Armenian exports should not be taken seriously because “importers are the main, if not sole, support base of our government.” “It can be said that the government itself is an importer,” claims the opposition paper.

(Armen Dulian)
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