(Saturday, July 21)
In an interview with “Zhamanak,” Davit Shahnazarian, a prominent opposition politician who has left the Armenian National Congress (HAK), strongly criticizes the opposition alliance for its cooperation with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Shahnazarian accuses the HAK leadership of paving the way for former President Robert Kocharian’s return to power. “Kocharianism has been substantially revived and is now playing a large role in our political field thanks to the HAK’s efforts,” he claims, adding that the HAK might back a presidential candidate nominated by the BHK.
Vitali Balasanian, the defeated candidate in Nagorno-Karabakh’s July 19 presidential election, tells “Hraparak” that he accepts its official results despite considering the vote “not fair” because of a “widespread use of administrative resources.” “Prosecutors, judges, military officers and representatives of other security structures were actively engaged in the government candidate’s campaign,” says Balasanian. “These are irrefutable facts against which we have protested, including in our statement issued in the pre-election period, hoping in vain that the authorities will take notice.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Armenia’s deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, who monitored the Karabakh election together with other deputies, as downplaying EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s criticism of the ballot. “It is much more that the OSCE Minsk Group’s three co-chairs made a statement ahead of the NKR presidential election,” says Sharmazanov. “It once again stressed that the conflict must be resolved on the basis of three principles, including nations’ right to self-determination.”
“In my opinion, the society’s tolerance of corruption is taking deeper roots, which helps to lower the effectiveness of the government’s anti-corruption policy,” Deputy Justice Minister Yeghishe Kirakosian tells “Aravot.” “The state is unable to root out corruption on its own, without the society’s assistance … The society should also be intolerant of such phenomena.”