(Saturday, September 17)
“Hayots Ashkhar” dismisses opposition criticism of a draft resolution by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) that praises the Armenian government’s efforts to end the fallout from the 2008 political crisis in the country. “The [opposition] HAK keeps bragging that the president [Serzh Sarkisian] has fulfilled all of its demands: the political prisoners were set free through a general amnesty, the investigation into the March 1 case resumed at the president’s instruction, after which the HAK-government dialogue got underway,” says the pro-Sarkisian daily. “After all this, what else should the PACE have done apart from stating that the March 1 chapter can be considered closed?”
Rudik Hovsepian, a commentator for a Los Angeles-based Armenian-language TV station, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that it has collected signatures of more than 15,000 local Armenians demanding that Serzh Sarkisian be barred from entering the United States this month. He says that the U.S. government has already been informed about that campaign. “We want to see a legitimate president of Armenia in the United States,” says Hovsepian.
“Hraparak” continues its series of interviews with businesspeople holding seats in Armenia’s parliament. One of them Manvel Badeyan, is quoted as saying that he is not worried about speculation that Sarkisian wants to sharply reduce the presence of such individuals in the next National Assembly. “Has anyone made such a decision?” asks Badeyan. “Such a decision must at least be made at a congress of the [ruling Republican] party. Such a decision cannot be made in principle because a person’s professional affiliation has nothing to do with his involvement in politics. Business is also a professional affiliation.”
“Yerkir” criticizes Yerevan Mayor Karen Karapetian’s controversial efforts to regulate street trade that have led to the closure of hundreds of kiosks. “The civilized world solves these issues by setting and enforcing standards for street trade,” writes the paper. “Not only is the municipality unwilling to opt for that, but it is also not trying to offer alternative and civilized options to people condemned to unemployment. If kiosks are an obstacle, then how civilized are the markets operating in the capital? They remain untouchable because of belonging to one or another oligarch.”