(Saturday, July 16)
Arman Grigorian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) tells “Zhamanak” that there have been “numerous” cases in the world where ruling regimes ceded power as a result of a dialogue with the opposition. Grigorian brings the examples of Chile, Pakistan and former Communist countries in Eastern Europe. “Also, we often forget that Armenia too has such experience,” he says. “I’ve never been a big fan of Armenian Communists but must admit for the sake of fairness that they too ceded power in a dignified way [in 1990.]”
“Yerkir” criticizes President Serzh Sarkisian’s foreign policy and, in particular, his “readiness to make unilateral concessions” to Turkey and Azerbaijan. “The first manifestation of that was the signing of the Turkish-Armenian protocols which in effect formalized the readiness for concessions expressed by us beforehand,” editorializes the paper. “As a result, Turkey keeps talking about its preconditions [for normalizing relations with Armenia,] while we respond by continuing to show the world our readiness to ratify those documents containing unacceptable concessions. The same is happening in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Armenia is speaking out favorably about all documents presented [by mediators,] despite the fact that every document is worse than the previous one.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” defends Garegin Azarian, the newly reelected chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), against criticism voiced by opposition politicians as well as pro-opposition and other media. The paper says media coverage of Azarian’s news conference on Thursday is enough to understand that “regardless of the quality of the forthcoming parliamentary elections and their evaluation by local and international observers and European structures, that topic will be heavily exploited both ahead of and especially after the 2012 elections.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to attack the Armenian Central Bank. “It is difficult to find an issue which this institution has solved successfully,” claims the opposition daily. It recalls the controversial sale several years of Armenia’s gold reserves, saying that Armenia has lost about $50 million as a result. The paper also accuses the bank of “artificially” increasing the value of the Armenian dram.