(Saturday, November 28)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” accuses the chairman of the Armenian Weightlifting Federation, Samvel Khachatrian, of “brutally spoiling” the victory of Armenia’s Nazik Avdalian in the world weightlifting championship taking place in South Korea. Khachatrian loudly dedicated the victory to Gagik Tsarukian, a wealthy businessman and politician heading Armenia’s National Olympic Committee. “Mr. Tsarukian, this is a birthday gift to you,” Khachatrian shouted on camera moments after Avdalian defeated her opponents.
“The behavior of this man directly characterizes the whole charm of our sports as well as the overall state of the country,” comments “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “They attribute sporting successes not to the country but to concrete people on whom they depend and of whom they are afraid. For some, Mr. Tsarukian is above Armenia. This is the mentality of a slave, an amoeba. It’s this type of people that wreck our country, halt progress, throw Armenia into a medieval feudal order … Nazik Avdalian’s victory is a victory for Armenia and the people of Armenia, for which we are extremely happy.”
Naira Zohrabian, a senior lawmaker from Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), tells “Kapital” that there are no prerequisites for leadership change in the country at the moment. “Regime change does not come out of thin air,” she says. “It requires certain prerequisites. Of course, there are both external and internal political problems. Of course the financial-economic crisis has left the country coping with serious challenges. But all these problems will be surmountable if there is a common will and effort to see the country more prosperous and developed.”
“Hayk” reports that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian attended and delivered a speech at Friday’s opening of a new plaque in Yerevan dedicated to Karen Demirchian, Armenia’s former parliament speaker and Soviet-era leader assassinated in 1999. The paper says Ter-Petrosian praised Demirchian for not crushing the popular movement for Karabakh’s unification with Armenia before being sacked as first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party in 1988. He said that unlike Demirchian, former President Robert Kocharian “shot at his own people in cold blood on March 1  just as he shoots elephants and rhinoceros on [African] safaris these days.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party (HHK), links Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s decision to join the party with Armenia’s rapprochement with Turkey and resulting geopolitical changes in the region. “Having a non-partisan prime minister acting separately would mean creating problems in that field,” he says.