(Saturday, September 20)
“Hraparak” comments on the 17th anniversary of a national referendum in which Armenians overwhelmingly voted for independence from the Soviet Union. The paper says the unanimity with which they expressed their will has never been seen again in Armenia’s post-Soviet history. It says many of them subsequently grew disappointed with the independence, blaming it for government corruption and the country’s grave socioeconomic woes.
“If you go through critical psychological upheavals for 17 consecutive years and expect that someone will save you with heroic efforts, your country can not be stable and step on to the path of development,” writes “Aravot.” “Of the past 17 years only the two years of war [with Azerbaijan] were critical. The war was our sole fateful test and we passed it with honor thanks to our real heroes and the entire nation. In this regard, we must not forget the first president of our republic and his team, which certainly included the second and third presidents.”
“Despite all the difficulties that have befallen our state during all these years and are still not fully overcome, it must be noted with pride that our faith in freedom and independence has never been in question,” says “Hayots Ashkhar.” The paper believes Armenia must continue to go down the path of independence and “occupy our worthy place in the competition and cooperation of nations.”
“Unfortunately, our society still does not perceive Independence Day as a real holiday, and celebrations on this occasion start and end with grandiose speeches and standard messages of various officials” laments “168 Zham.” “Even more unfortunate is the fact that there are still people who have reservations about independence.” The people who led the country to independence are also to blame for this, says the paper.
Ashot Aghababian, a parliament deputy from the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayk” that Tigran Torosian stepped down as parliament speaker because he could not do his job properly. “You can’t do it only about knowing the law and speaking well,” he says. Aghababian complains that Torosian never invited him to weddings or other parties and never helped fellow parliamentarians who got in trouble.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Torosian looked confused and lost after announcing his resignation at a parliament session on Friday. The paper says pro-government parliamentarians were in high spirits after that. “They were joking, loudly giggling in the canteen and waiting for the announcement of a few more votes,” says.
According to “Hayk,” HHK deputies were particularly jubilant about Torosian’s decision to quit without a fight.
“Hraparak” says Hovik Abrahamian, the newly elected parliament deputy who is tipped to replace Torosian, has yet to be seen in the National Assembly. “They say that he wants to enter the National Assembly as a parliament speaker and does not want to take the seat of a rank-and-file deputy,” claims the paper.