“Haykakan Zhamanak” attacks the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party and its leader Raffi Hovannisian for criticizing not only the Armenian authorities but also former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “This is the stance of a purely pocket opposition party,” the pro-Ter-Petrosian-daily declares in an editorial. “A stance whose main purpose is to blur the opposition message as much as possible and to reduce the responsibility of those who pay the pocket opposition as much as possible.” The paper describes as “unbelievable” Zharangutyun’s endorsement of Ter-Petrosian in the 2008 presidential election.
“Zharangutyun’s [weekend] congress exposed the old disease of our political field: an utter lack of seriousness and statesmanlike thinking,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” The paper, which is also sympathetic to Ter-Petrosian, launches a scathing attack on Hovannisian, saying that the party congress and his statements made during it resembled “the graduation party at a Sunday Armenian school in a Diaspora community.” “He could have displayed a little respect for Armenia’s citizens and not taken three million people for fools with grandiose rhetoric, couldn’t he?” it says, adding that Hovannisian “has decided to turn the party into a decorative structure.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” also slams Hovannisian’s party, but from a different angle. The pro-government paper regrets tartly that Hovannisian’s “to the arms” call voiced during the congress was not witnessed by screenplays and theater directors.
Heghine Bisharian, a leader of the pro-government Orinats Yerkir Party, assures “Aravot” that several government-linked wealthy men have joined the party recently in good faith and not at the behest of President Serzh Sarkisian. “Arayik Hayrapetian, Eduard Madatian as well as thousands of other people join Orinats Yerkir because they accept the approaches, principles and track record of our party and the values espoused by the party,” she says. “Besides, it is well known that politics is an art of making prudent decisions.”
“Hraparak” reports growing popular discontent in Nagorno-Karabakh with the local telecommunication operator, Karabakh-Telecom, following its decision to raise telephone tariffs. “The situation has become so tense that [Karabakh President] Bako Sahakian has met with [the Karabakh-Telecom chief] Ralph Yirikian,” says the paper.
“Azg” reports that a total of about 1,300 divorces were registered in Armenia last year. It quotes psychologist Nana Mkrtumian as calling the figure “worrisome.” “For a small state like Armenia, 1,300 divorces is a serious indicator,” she says. “But had it not been for a number of notions characterizing Armenian mentality, the number of divorces would have been higher.” Mkrtumian believes that many Armenian couples continue to live together only “for the sake of their children.” “But that doesn’t mean the children are happy as a result,” she adds.