“Aravot” says one reason why Armenia is often portrayed by Azerbaijani media as a country facing extinction is grim news and commentaries spread by the Armenian press. “It’s not just opposition propaganda,” editorializes the paper. “Our suffering-prone character is also a reason … Of course, the fact is that in the last 20 years have created a corrupt and undemocratic regime. But even if that is no consolation, one must bear in mind that our neighbors have the same kid of regimes. In our country, freedom of the press is restricted illegally -- for example, with arbitrary decisions taken by the National Commission on Television and Radio -- while our neighbors do that by law.”
“Yerkir” dismisses the Armenian government’s claims that jailed oppositions are being released as a result of its good will, rather than confidential agreements reached with Levon Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian National Congress (HAK). The paper says appeals for the release of the political prisoners coming from various state and public figures are needless and primitive “political shows” organized by the authorities. It argues that President Serzh Sarkisian himself implied late last month that all of those prisoners will get out of jail soon.
Interviewed by “Kapital,” Aram Manukian, a senior member of the HAK, condemns former President Robert Kocharian’s claims that “undesirable oppositionists” were killed during Ter-Petrosian’s but not his rule. Manukian says Kocharian never made such allegations while occupying senior government positions in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia when Ter-Petrosian was president. “If he knows of such crimes but doesn’t go public, then he at least risks prosecution for cover-up,” he says. “This is why I keep saying that Kocharian should speak up a lot and give many interviews. This way many things will be clarified.” Manukian also wonders why Kocharian did not punish those responsible for crimes allegedly committed by the Ter-Petrosian administration during his 1998-2008 presidency.
“Nobody has ever trusted Robert Kocharian,” Andranik Kocharian, another HAK figure (no relation), tells “Zhamanak.” “I think he himself never trusted himself. But Robert Kocharian is always able to present facts in a way desirable for him. By distorting facts Kocharian can’t achieve anything.”
Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that few Armenians now seriously think that pre-term presidential or parliamentary elections could be held in Armenia. This was not the case two years ago, he says.