“Azg” is not sure that the creation of the presidential Public Council was “appropriate” at this juncture, suggesting that what Armenia needs the most now is new bodies dealing with economic, rather than political, problems. The paper is also unimpressed by the council’s composition.
“Hraparak” believes that veteran politician Vazgen Manukian dealt a massive blow to his political future by agreeing to join the council and serve as its interim chairman. “A council whose members are known for their pro-government attitudes and in which there is not a single free and independent intellectual,” says the paper. “A council whose role is absolutely incomprehensible, especially one year after the known events [of March 2008.]” The paper claims that Armenian society sees no need for a “public dialogue” these days. “Accordingly, the meaning of being the head of such a moribund body is difficult to understand,” it says. “It is not clear why on earth Vazgen Manukian needed the status of the head of that council.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the May 31 municipal elections in Yerevan can not be free and fair and will follow an all too familiar pattern. Still, the paper thinks that the Armenian opposition should contest the vote and persuade Armenians in that opposition control of Yerevan’s municipal council would amount to regime change in the entire country. “In this sense, the mayoral elections in Yerevan are almost like presidential elections,” it says. “After all, Yerevan is half of Armenia, and even more so in terms of the economy.”
“Kapital” reports that Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko arrived in Yerevan earlier this week after canceling a planned meeting with the European Union’s External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. “According to information posted on Lukashenko’s official website, the schedule of his visit to Armenia was decided on Monday, whereas the meeting with Waldner was scheduled more than two weeks ago,” notes the paper. It says Lukashenko snubbed her ahead of the EU’s decision on whether or not to include Belarus in its Eastern Partnership program.
Armen Martirosian, a leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Iravunk” that there is nothing wrong with Levon Ter-Petrosian’s seeming readiness to form a “government of national unity” with Armenia’s current leaders. Martirosian regards that as proof of Ter-Petrosian’s readiness to “shoulder responsibility” and his “mentality of a statesman.”