(Saturday, September 12)
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Aram Safarian, a senior parliamentarian from the governing Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), accuses the “radical opposition” of obstructing the work of an ad hoc parliamentary commission investigating last year’s post-election violence in Yerevan. Safarian points to continuing allegations made by two opposition members of the now defunct Fact-Finding Group of Experts that also looked into the unrest. “I am confident that the public will make its evaluation,” he says. “The ad hoc commission could not have done more in the past one and a half years … Now it turns out that the radicals have found new photographs and facts. Why didn’t they do that in the past one and a half years?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on the deteriorating health condition of Tigran Arakelian, an arrested opposition activist who went on a hunger strike to protest against his controversial prosecution. “Tigran Arakelian had a difficulty speaking yesterday,” says the paper. “He had strong headaches and a low heartbeat.” Despite that, it says, prison officials claimed that Arakelian’s condition is “satisfactory.”
Ashot Sargsian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Zhamanak” that Armenia would have negotiated its agreements with Turkey on more favorable terms if it had a “legitimate” government and competent diplomacy. “We lack both things,” he says. “In these circumstances Armenia has not been on an equal footing vis-à-vis the other side. And so the stronger side managed to dictate provisions and formulations that are not at all necessary for that kind of a document.”
“Regardless of economic and other indicators, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian will go down in history as the man who finally succeeded in making Armenian motorists wear seat belts,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “In reality, Tigran Sarkisian managed to do that not with enormous efforts or hard work but as a result of realizing one simple truth. That simple truth is that in our country, like anywhere else in the world, you have to motivate, rather than compel, people. Drivers fasten seat belts not because they want to feel safer but because they don’t want to lose 5,000 drams ($13). But regardless of the motorists’ motives, if the government manages to remain tough on the seat belts for a while, the phenomenon of buckling up will become a habit little by little.”
“Kapital” reports that a newly manufactured Russian Sukhoi Superjet-100 plane has arrived in Gyumri to carry out test flights in mountainous conditions. The paper says its state-owned manufacturer also wants to showcase the new passenger jet’s ability to fly and land safely.