“Golos Armenii” comments on the first anniversary of Armenia’s 2008 presidential election that was controversial won by Serzh Sarkisian. “It would be an obvious exaggeration to assert that Sarkisian has already succeeded in narrowing the gap between the authority and the people,” says the Russian-language paper. “But the president does deserve credit for the fact that the post-election [opposition] rallies were attended by fewer and fewer people and stopped altogether on October 17. He was genuinely interested in raising tax discipline and equal economic conditions and fair competition. The thinking segment of the public … started believing in the president’s intention to fight against corruption, favoritism and other negative phenomena not only with words but actions.”
Razmik Zohrabian, a leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that for all their criticism of the Armenian government’s post-election crackdown on the opposition, the Council of Europe and other European structures do not “consider those problems essential.” “At the end of the day, those are solvable issues,” says Zohrabian. “Armenia is working in that direction, taking some steps to meet the requirements of the PACE resolutions. As for human rights, they will be violated as long as the humanity exists, and naturally Armenia is not an exception.”
Meanwhile, the chief HHK spokesman, Eduard Sharmazanov, is quoted by “Aravot” as saying that President Sarkisian and other Republican leaders are too busy to celebrate the election anniversary. “The best way to mark it is our good work,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the current exchange rate of the Armenian dram is “so false, so artificial that if the Central Bank comes to its senses and returns to market mechanisms for a moment, namely to the floating exchange rate, it is impossible to say what will happen to the dram.” “It can explode so powerfully that Armenia’s entire financial system will completely crumble in a matter of hours,” speculates the paper.
Another opposition daily, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” says that even a dram devaluation would not stimulate the Armenian economy. “Armenia does not have an economy, and the reason for that is not the global crisis,” says the paper.