“Zhamanak” reacts to President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to grant the rank of “major-general of justice” to Mihran Poghosian, the controversial head of Armenia’s Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA). The paper says Poghosian is notorious for physically assaulting “persons having problems with him.” It recalls that former Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian was sacked in late 2010 because of one such incident. “Not only was Mihran Poghosian not punished for that but he has now been made a general by Serzh Sarkisian,” comments the paper. It says this development makes mockery of Sarkisian’s pledges to reform the country and strengthen the rule of law.
“Hraparak” carries an interview with Ashot Zakarian, a well-known opposition activist affiliated with the Yerkrapah Union of Karabakh war veterans. He says that Yerkrapah leader Manvel Grigorian had no right to declare on behalf of all veterans that Yerkrapah will be supporting Sarkisian in the forthcoming national elections. Zakarian says there are “hundreds of guys like me who do not share that view.” “I regard that as Manvel Grigorian’s personal opinion,” he says. Zakarian also claims that Sarkisian’s perceived efforts to turn Yerkrapah into a political support base are “doomed.” “That’s not going to happen given the multi-layered nature of Yerkrapah,” he concludes.
“Yerkir” continues to comment on the standoff between the authorities and young protesters over the construction of kiosks in a central Yerevan park. “Most of our society is guided by the belief that nothing can be changed, which leads to a deep nihilism, conformism or emigration,” writes the paper. “In fact, the young people who gathered in Mashtots Park were fighting not for the dismantling of several kiosks but breaking this stereotype. By resorting to extreme actions, they are trying to show that a seemingly impossible thing can and must be made possible.”