In a front-page editorial on Armenia’s Independence Day, “Hraparak” says that independence is “the normal state of all sound and sensible people” and being against it is tantamount to “being against life.”
“Aravot” wishes that President Serzh Sarkisian and his two predecessors, Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian, jointly stood on the podium during Wednesday’s military parade in Yerevan. “The people who were the commanders-in-chief of our armed forces during difficult years of our history,” editorializes the paper. “Armenia’s current President Serzh Sarkisian is among those who have such a desire. But it didn’t work. The first president turned down the invitation [from Sarkisian,] citing through his representatives the well-known refrain about the ‘kleptocratic regime,’ while the second president sent no messages at all, even though his not being in Armenia during the independence anniversary celebrations was a message in itself.”
“Yerkir” says that during its 20-year independence Armenia has had “so few remarkable achievements that it is even difficult to recall them.” “Our failures, mistakes, omissions are more visible,” writes the paper. “One is left to make only one conclusion: we have not correctly evaluated the historical moment and opportunity given to us.”
“Zhamanak” says that unlike Sarkisian and Robert Kocharian, Ter-Petrosian was “very restrained” in handing out state awards during his presidency. “Robert Kocharian devaluated that system, while Serzh Sarkisian has pulverized both the meaning and charm of that procedure,” writes the pro-Ter-Petrosian daily.
“Had we had a national elite, many mistakes would not have been committed,” political commentator Levon Shirinian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “During the first four years of independence Armenia was indeed developing along the path of democracy and had stunning manifestations of parliamentarism,” he says. “This was a period when despite a ruined economy our national spirit was creating the victory in Artsakh (Karabakh). What happened four years later could not have happened under a national government but was possible and natural under the authoritarian Soviet regime. The freedom fight [in Karabakh] ended and the ensuing elections [in Armenia] were simply rigged.”