“Aravot” notes with bewilderment that Armenian media commentators are skeptical about the official reasons for the sackings of Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian and Yerevan Mayor Gagik Beglarian. “Kocharian, Luzhkov, Pzo, oligarchs, WikiLeaks. These are the ‘real’ reasons [given by them,]” editorializes the paper. It suggests jokingly that by the same token Mihran Poghosian, the head of the Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA) responsible for Danielian’s dismissal, hit a 60-year-old employee because there were no more displaced Yerevan residents to be attacked by SMEJA officers.
“It took a visit to Armenia by Placido Domingo for Yerevan to have a change of mayor,” film director Tigran Khzmalian tells “Kapital.” “This is not the first case [of its kind.] During the opening of the 1996 Chess Olympiad [in Yerevan] the Armenian statehood showed a big crack because for the first time ever the state clashed with its own people,” he says, referring to street violence sparked by a 1996 presidential election."
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes the chief of the Armenian police, Alik Sargsian, as saying that Beglarian will not be prosecuted for beating up a member of President Serzh Sarkisian’s protocol department. Sargsian says the police contacted the presidential administration and offered to open a criminal case. “They refused, saying that there was no such incident, that there was only a dispute, a scuffle,” he says, adding that “there were no bodily injuries and kidnapping.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Eduard Sharmazanov, defends the HHK-led parliamentary majority’s decision to block an opposition motion to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state. He says such a move would put the Karabakh peace process into “deadlock.” “We have said on numerous occasions that [the recognition] is not an end in itself and that our aim is Karabakh’s international recognition,” says Sharmazanov. “What is more, the NKR authorities are of the same opinion.”
Speaking to “Irates de facto,” Artsvik Minasian, a parliament deputy from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), says Armenia’s government should resettle many more Armenians in Azerbaijani territories around Karabakh. “There have to be infrastructures and internal reforms,” he says. Minasian insists that a concerted resettlement effort would not undermine the peace process.