“Yerkir” accuses the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) of refusing to support the owners of Yerevan kiosks dismantled by the authorities for the sake of its parochial interests. The paper linked with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) claims that the HAK exploited similar protests that were staged by street traders and other groups of the population earlier this year to clinch concessions from President Serzh Sarkisian.
“Aravot” reports that the Social Democratic Hnchakian Party (SDHK), one of two dozen opposition groups making up the HAK, has welcomed the August 18 statement by the Dashnaktsutyun branch in the western United States harshly criticizing President Serzh Sarkisian. Lyudmila Sargsian, the SDHK leader, tells the paper that the Dashnaktsutyun leadership in Armenia continues to cooperate with the Sarkisian government and “imitate” its opposition status. “Dashnaks in Armenia have businesses, personal interests that transcend Dashnaktsutyun’s real interests,” she claims. “Being focused on Armenia, the Dashnaks had great opportunities to genuinely serve the nation, enable the party to expand and move forward with national interests. But they took another opportunity: to enrich themselves by serving some petty rulers.”
Galust Sahakian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenians did not mark the 21st anniversary of the 1990 declaration of independence with enthusiasm for “economic, social and political reasons.” “The people need to feel the effectiveness of independence on their own skin in the form of rising living standards,” he says. “But this hasn’t happened yet. Independence has a price.” Time is needed for reaping its fruits, adds Sahakian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Surik Ghazarian, a former judge, as saying that Armenian judges feel unprotected and rarely make decisions on their own. “I’m saying this because I quit and don’t worry anymore,” he says. “All of the serving judges are gutless persons. If any of them publicizes anything or revolts, they will have their heads smashed.”
Nerses Nazarian, the chief of the Yerevan police, assures “Hraparak” that wealthy and influential Armenians have stopped riding in eye-catching motorcades filled with their bodyguards. Nazarian denies reports that his son is surrounded by such bodyguards during public appearances. “My son has always appeared with two friends because he is a businessman,” he says. “But there was a reprimand and my son too doesn’t have the right.”