“Zhamanak” claims that the new election campaign motto of the Republican Party (HHK), “Believe To Change,” testifies to HHK leader Serzh Sarkisian’s failure to put into practice his 2008 slogan, “Go Armenia!” “For if you don’t carry on with the job you began four years ago and only trumpet the need for change, that raises the question of what happened to ‘Go Armenia!’” writes the paper. “What has been done in the last four years to make Armenia move forward?” It says the fact that Sarkisian is now calling for change shows that he has “done nothing” during his presidency.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” also attacks Sarkisian’s speech at the HHK congress on Saturday. “Its author definitely has a good sense of humor,” the pro-opposition paper comments bitingly. It specifically ridicules Sarkisian’s claim that the ruling party is leading a “popular movement” for positive change in Armenia.
“Hayatsk” carries an interview with Khachik Asrian, the controversial deputy minister of sports and youth affairs who also leads the pro-presidential youth organization Hayots Artsivner (Armenian Eagles). While denying that he is promoting a personality cult within the organization, Asrian makes clear that President Sarkisian “will forever remain a person to worship.” “I adore Serzh Sarkisian not because he is now president and I deputy minister,” he explains. “I developed that adoration back in the 1990s. I want everybody to understand this.”
Interviewed by “Zhoghovurd,” former Deputy Defense Minister Artur Aghabekian notes that civic groups concerned about army crime reject “any view expressed by the Defense Ministry.” Aghabekian says that in order to address this distrust the Armenian military should stop immediately taking at face value claims made by commanders of army units hit by soldier deaths and other violent incidents. He says many low-level commanders often try to cover up such incidents for fear losing their posts. Military investigators should therefore look into circumstances of every incident before making statements, says Aghabekian. He also calls for legislative changes that would allow families of crime victims to closely monitor criminal inquiries.