“Oligarchy is a way of thinking, a way of life which guides not only infamous oligarchs but also their sponsors and, strangely enough, those who fight against them,” “168 Zham” writes in an editorial. The paper says an “oligarchy of thought” is just as bad for the country. “No government representative would dare to express an opinion unless it is agreed with the ruling elite beforehand,” it says. “The situation in the opposition camp is the same. Anyone deviating from statements made by Armenian National Congress (HAK) leader and first President Levon Ter-Petrosian is immediately declared a traitor. The situation is not different also within the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) that has declared itself an alternative [to the government].”
“Zhamanak” says political parties are playing only marginal roles in the popular outcry that was sparked by the June 17 violence in Yerevan’s Harsnakar restaurant. The paper suggests that they either do not know what to do or are “for the first time trying not to interfere with civic activism.” “In that sense, the positions of virtually all political forces can be considered exemplary for the moment,” it says. “They have gotten involved in the civic movement solely as rank-and-file participants and citizens.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Levon Nersisian, a human rights campaigner, calls for the passage of new legislation that would “somehow regulate” the work of bodyguards working for Harsnakar owner Ruben Hayrapetian and other “oligarchs.” “If I, an ordinary citizen, walk on the street and do not intend to attack anyone, I think it makes no sense to keep a whole army of bodyguards to protect against me,” he says. “But if they want to protect themselves against people like themselves there must be clear requirements as to who can do such a job, with what rights and so on.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” Bako Sahakian, the president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), reaffirms the Karabakh Armenian leadership’s position that the disputed region will never revert to the status and borders that it had until 1988. “It is difficult to imagine any situation or process that could make us deviate from our chosen path,” says Sahakian. He also expresses confidence that the NKR will eventually regain a “full-fledged participation” in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.