(Saturday, August 13)
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Davit Harutiunian, the head of a negotiating team representing Armenia’s political leadership, dismisses threats by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) to pull out of its dialogue with the ruling coalition in protest against the arrest and prosecution of several HAK activists. Harutiunian says that while the dialogue is good for “the country’s progress and development” it is not as important as maintenance of “public order.” “And if the other side uses this as a pretext to pull out of the dialogue, that will mean that we are not yet mature enough for this dialogue,” says Harutiunian.
“Hraparak” wonders just how serious the HAK is about demanding fresh elections. The paper says the opposition bloc seems to have forgotten about that demand and is raising other issues with coalition negotiators.
Lragir.am comments on Armenian police chief Alik Sargsian’s claims that opposition elements are plotting “provocations” aimed at discrediting the police. “Earlier, such a statement was made by the army leadership,” writes the online journal. “After the public and journalists started talking about army practices and causes of [soldier] suicides, generals and ‘patriots’ started alleging that the campaign against the army is financed by Armenia’s enemies. Yet another ‘campaign’ was launched recently against the Armenian Apostolic Church or, more precisely, its leadership. Young people demanded the Cathilicos’s resignation in social media and that too was branded a premeditated campaign. Proponents of conspiracy theories may say that somebody is striking at the foundations of our state … but it is obvious that people responsible for those institutions are behind the whispers about pre-planned campaigns.”
Aysor.am criticizes Yerevan Mayor Karen Karapetian’s decision to close all “illegal” kiosks in the Armenian capital. “The mayor is convinced that the owners of kiosks in central streets are not poor and helpless and that the municipality therefore has nothing to compensate them for. But what about those who are poor and helpless?” it asks. “It is no secret that people selling cigarettes or engaged in other types of small trade are not known for their fortunes.”