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Press Review


“Hayk” quotes opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian as saying that the Armenian authorities are refusing to hold even free and fair local elections. “What kept them from holding truly free and fair elections in a number of communities?” he asks. “What damage could an opposition mayor inflict on their power? … This is not only a lust for power and dictatorship but an extreme manifestation of provincialism.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” reports sardonically that a group of jailed oppositionists on Tuesday urged residents of Yerevan’s Kentron district to vote for opposition candidate Ararat Zurabian in Sunday’s local election. The paper mocks their claim that Zurabian would help to establish the rule of law.

“Aravot” reports that a son-in-law of Gagik Tsarukian, a wealthy businessman and the leader of the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is the only candidate in the upcoming mayoral election in Abovian, a town 15 kilometers north of Yerevan. “A few months ago, when [Karapet Guloyan] was a prosecutor, he beat up a policeman, something which sparked a big but shot uproar,” recalls the paper.

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” attacks the Armenian police chief, Alik Sargsian, for unequivocally defending police actions during the March 1 clashes in Yerevan. “To be honest, nobody doubted that he will do this,” says the opposition paper. “When it comes to the selection of those who have provided it with various services, the regime rarely makes mistakes.”

“Azg” believes that the March 1 bloodshed will continue to haunt Armenians and their rulers in the years to come. “We have not yet turned that page,” says the paper. “We won’t be able to turn it for a long time.”

“Hraparak” claims that many in the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) are angry at party spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov for comparing parliament speaker-in-waiting Hovik Abrahamian with Charles de Gaulle.

“Aravot” looks at the highly controversial reputations of opposition figures like former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian, General Manvel Grigorian and former judge Pargev Ohanian, saying that “they loyally served a system against which the opposition has declared a fierce fight.” Nor did the recently ousted parliament speaker Tigran Torosian have major policy differences with the government, editorializes the paper.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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