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Press Review


The “168 Zham” editor suggests that for some politicians in Armenia the country’s independence ends where Russian interests begin. She arrives at the conclusion based on the sentiments within the political circles of Armenia following last Saturday’s convention of Russia’s ruling Yedinaya Rossiya party that resulted in the announcement of an impending reshuffle of offices by President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“Since then the part of the Armenian political establishment favoring ex-president Robert Kocharian has really been in a jubilant mood. Certain media and political pundits have been presenting this fact as a Russian ‘go-ahead’ for Kocharian’s political comeback and his participation in the next presidential election in Armenia. And this is being done in the same simplistic way in which the incumbent authorities and their associates have been trying to convince the public that the Putin-Medvedev reshuffle will have no impact on the Armenian politics at all,” writes the editor.

“Yerkir” suggests that unlike the first set of demands presented by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) to the government back in March, the latest one delivered at the September 23 rally does not look like a precondition, but primarily aims at attracting public attention. “This way the HAK is trying to show that it is returning to the tactics of imminent action that HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian would reject out of hand only a couple of months ago,” the paper writes.

“Zhamanak” inquired from Armenia’s Police Chief Alik Sargsian about the possible outcome of the cases brought against the group of young opposition activists, including Tigran Arakelian, who have been charged with assaulting police workers. Sargsian responds to the journalist’s assumption that he feels a particular dislike for Arakelian, who is the only of the seven youngsters to remain jailed pending investigation and trial: “I already said it once and will repeat it. I was the one who had asked for Tigran’s release during the first time he was arrested [in 2009]… Then he would try to have the court demand that I apologize to him… This is immoral of him. If I say that I have a special liking for him and think about him all day long… But what about my dignity as a man and a policeman? I do get offended too, do I not? Why should I apologize? Dear Tigran Arakelian, look at my track record, and at yours!”

Quoting Central Election Commission (CEC) member Tatevik Ohanian “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that no document relating to any parliamentary or presidential elections or the constitutional referendum that took place in Armenia before 1999 has been preserved at the CEC. The paper also quotes the official as saying that no document is available at the CEC on the basis of which it would be possible to establish how many voters were registered during the 1998 presidential election and how many of them went to the polls.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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