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Press Review


“Serzh Sarkisian probably didn’t know at what price Robert Kocharian will have to place him in the presidential chair,” political expert Manvel Sargsian tells “Hraparak.” “He also hardly expected the political potential of the Republican Party, along with its parliament majority, to turn into a soap bubble as soon as it was confronted by Levon Ter-Petrosian. Only later on did it become clear to everyone that it is impossible to place Serzh Sarkisian in the Armenian presidential chair by any legal means. That chair had to be taken by force, and force was in the hands of Robert Kocharian because only he had the right to use it. Kocharian needs to think whether it was worth shooting at the people in the streets of Yerevan for the sake of someone else.”

“During the long years of his rule Kocharian never managed to love the people, and there is some basis to today’s talk of his comeback,” writes “168 Zham.” “Let us not forget that one of the possibilities of that comeback is the long and thick blemish which Robert Kocharian successfully left on Serzh Sarkisian before his departure.” The paper speculates that Kocharian could seek to return to power by means of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “But there is one question. Does Kocharian have at least half of the authority enjoyed by [BHK leader] Gagik Tsarukian? He hardly does.”

“On the other hand,” continues “168 Zham,” “the newly appointed Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, who took over his job so nicely, has not achieved any tangible results yet. With phrases hardly comprehensible to the average Armenian, he will fail to retain public trust which has managed to accumulated during a short period of time, thereby facilitating the possibility of Robert Kocharian’s comeback.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says it is not uncommon for a particular police officer to be the key witness in the trials of several opposition supporters accused of resisting police. “For instance, there are cases where the same policeman managed to be jostled for three times in as many hours, with every incident lasting for 15-20 minutes,” the paper comments with sarcasm. “And in the process the same policeman detained as many people for continuously jostling him.”

Meanwhile, a senior member of Artashes Geghamian’s National Unity Party defends the police actions on March 1 in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” Gagik Kostandian says police officers were “ensuring their, their mothers’, children’s and mothers’ security.”

“The false premise of the authorities is that the roots of the [popular] discontent are social,” editorializes “Aravot.” “A Soviet stereotype seems to be at work here: a group of scum are exploiting are temporary difficulties. But this is a primitive explanation. Well-fed and financially secure people are unhappy too because they have to bribe government officials all the time, because they are treated with disdain and plundered by the state apparatus, because crimes committed by government protégés remain unpunished and lastly because their will, which is expressed by ballot casting, is cynically ignored.”

(Armen Dulian)
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