“Hraparak” says the Armenian authorities suffered setbacks in some of the local elections held over the weekend, singling out the victory of General Manvel Grigorian’s son Karen in the mayoral race in Echmiadzin. His main challenger was backed by the governing Republican Party (HHK). The paper reports that other HHK-backed candidates, including the incumbent mayor of the southeastern town of Kapan, were defeated in other parts of the country. It also criticizes other opposition forces led by Levon Ter-Petrosian for their lack of interest in the polls which it believes “testifies to the opposition’s weakness and inability to fight.”
“Aravot” says the Armenian public is increasingly concerned about the recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and the government’s reluctance to shed light on them. The paper recalls that former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian was far more talkative in such situations.
In a separate commentary, “Aravot” looks at details of the criminal cases against the most prominent of the opposition members arrested following the March 1 unrest in Yerevan. “After reading materials of this case, one stops to believe that we have a bank secrecy and a confidentiality of phone conversations,” says the paper. “All banks without any exception provided information [to investigators] about bank accounts of individuals figuring in this case and cash flows to and from them.” The paper says the same is true for local telephone companies, it says.
Several newspapers publish an article by National Unity Party leader Artashes Geghamian in which he harshly criticizes Ter-Petrosian’s speech during Friday’s opposition rally in Yerevan. “If you, Levon, believe in what you are saying, how come you take the responsible and audacious step of indefinitely stopping mass events, instead of calling on your deluded supporters to rise up?” he asks.
“I don’t think it right to announce a time-out [in opposition rallies] at this point,” Hmayak Hovannisian, a politician and commentator, tells “168 Zham.” “That can not contribute to the mobilization of national potential for honorably getting out of this situation.”