“Zhamanak” construes Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s statement made during Thursday consultations with the military’s top brass that the army gives him confidence in the ongoing talks with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh as his admitting that he lacks the support of citizenry despite the official landslide victory of his party in the 2007 parliamentary elections and his own victory in the 2008 presidential election.
“But the ‘officially drawn up’ figures of voting have nothing to do with the reality and, therefore, it is clear that Sarkisian pins his hopes on the army.”
The paper further alleges that Sarkisian’s feeling of confidence is likely to be aimed not against the international community, but rather against his own citizens who, he knows, will oppose his unprecedented concessions to Azerbaijan in the Karabakh settlement: “And how will he then feel confident due to the army in the negotiations? He will feel confident in the sense that he can use the army at any moment against those citizens who oppose his agreement to these concessions.”
Continuing the subject, “Lragir.am” writes that after returning from his vacation, Serzh Sarkisian visited the summer camp of the pro-establishment Miasin (“Together”) youth movement at Lake Sevan and the Ministry of Defense. The online paper queries: “Can it be in fact assumed that in his future policies Sarkisian will rely on these two structures, especially that he has declared on several occasions that the army is the largest youth structure?”
“It is possible given the fact that Sarkisian has no support base today,” it continues. “Although the army is an apolitical structure under the Constitution, but several times it has been used for political purposes. The second organization, which became known to the public due to its actions against the ‘university mafia’, hosted Russian counterparts from a [pro-Kremlin] youth group, which, perhaps, is a hint at what manner of action Masin will adopt in the future.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” predicts a relatively peaceful autumn in domestic and foreign policies. It writes that no history-making events either in the Karabakh process or the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement are expected and, therefore, “despite their belligerent rhetoric, the government and the opposition will only create an illusion of struggle rather than struggle in earnest.”
“Yerkir” talks to the ambassador of the internationally unrecognized state of Abkhazia to Russia Igor Akhba. In his question, the paper’s reporter mentions that “the issue of so-called Azerbaijani refugees can become topical for Karabakh” and asks Akhba to present the situation with Georgian refugees in Abkhazia.
The diplomat says: “We have a clear picture on who actually lived in Abkhazia and who didn’t, who behaved in what manner during the war. We allowed the return of Georgian refugees, mainly to the Gali region. A quadripartite act on the return of refugees had been signed, a mechanism of their return had been determined and the process was under United Nations supervision. But it was sabotaged by the Georgian side and only a small number of people actually returned under the scheme. We estimate that about 50,000 Georgians currently live in Abkhazia. About 200,000 Georgians lived in Abkhazia before the war. The rights of Georgians in Abkhazia are not violated. They are represented in parliament and local government.”
In an interview with “Iravunk de-facto”, Galust Sahakian, the head of the governing Republican Party’s parliamentary faction, presents his views on the political elite: “Sometimes those who present themselves as politicians speak about the Nagorno-Karabakh subject. Without having lifted anything, they think they can lift a heavy weight at once. They come to the National Assembly once in three months and think they have become politicians. But a politician means a track record, education, struggle, ups and downs, and not a parliamentarian’s mandate. A person should have a good voice and only then start singing.”