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Press Review


(Saturday, February 5)

Former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Kapital” that the dramatic events in Egypt are unlikely to have a direct impact on political developments in Armenia. “First of all, the circumstances, components of national identity, religion, culture and historical background there are different,” he says. The uprisings in Egypt and other Arab states remind Torosian of “the spate of color revolutions in the ex-Soviet space.” “But as we know, even at that time Armenia managed to avoid that tide. That is certainly good because countries finding themselves in the whirlwind of revolutions suffer losses during the revolutions but it is also hard to predict ensuing developments.” Torosian notes at the same time no government can be sure that its people will never resort to “revolutionary actions.”

“Aravot” thinks that Armenian concerns about the revival of a Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) subcommittee on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are exaggerated. “True, that is a meaningless and inherently fruitless structure, and [PACE President Mevlut] Cavusoglu has a vested interest because he is sure that Azerbaijanis and Turks will say more bad things about Armenians in that subcommittee than we would be able to say about them. That will cause the PACE president moral satisfaction and allow him to report to Ankara what heroic efforts he has made to help the Azerbaijani brothers. But in terms of pure substance, the creation of the subcommittee is not a tragedy for us, and there is no need to boycott that structure.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” scoff at opposition criticism of the idea of setting up a new chamber of Armenia’s parliament where Diaspora Armenians would be able to hold seats. The pro-presidential paper says Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) is “terrified” by such a prospect. “There is nothing extraordinary about the Diaspora being involved in addressing national issues in the form of participating in the work of its homeland’s legislature,” it says. It argues that Diaspora Armenians are already involved in all spheres of life in Armenia in one way or another. A bicameral parliament would only “formalize Diaspora Armenians’ activities in their homeland,” concludes “Hayots Ashkhar.”

Citing “well-informed sources,” “168 Zham” says rumors that Samvel Babayan, Nagorno-Karabakh’s former military leader, and his political allies are poised to join Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) are not true. The paper claims that the Armenian authorities deliberately spread those rumors in order to step up pressure on Tsarukian. It says they hoped that Babayan would be their Trojan horse inside the BHK. Gnel Ghalechian, an aide to Babayan, is quoted as saying that the Karabakh general has “frozen his political activities for the moment.”

(Tigran Avetisian)
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