“Aravot” criticizes the police investigation of the June 17 violence at Yerevan’s Harsnakar restaurant, saying that Armenian law-enforcement bodies remain true to their practice of bringing exactly the same charges against several individuals arrested in a single criminal case. “Six individuals are accused of negligent assault resulting in death,” the paper writes in an editorial. “This is the delicate wording they chose for covering up the murder. It is not specified who did what. Did they deal equal blows to all victims? And which of those blows proved fatal for Vahe Avetian? … Whose idea was it to beat up restaurant clients? Who provoked that?” The paper says the police investigators have failed to answer these questions.
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Hovannes Sahakian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), regrets the lack of interest shown by most Armenian political groups in the upcoming local elections. “In order to be more or less successful in national elections, those forces must be able to keep their activists on standby,” says Sahakian. “The Republican Party participates in local elections also for that purpose, and not just for winning. If a political force does not engage in competition and struggles, its grandiose statements and rally speeches do not sound serious.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” looks at the matter from a different angle. The paper defends opposition forces and the Armenian National Congress (HAK) for their skeptical approach to the local elections. It quotes HAK coordinator Levon Zurabian as saying that national and local elections held in Armenia are very different from each other. “Elections as such do not exist in Armenia,” he claims. “Armenia has a dictatorship hidden behind a democratic façade, which uses all of its levers -- illegal practices, vote irregularities, vote bribes -- to falsify elections and secure the regime’s positions.” Zurabian adds that contesting such elections makes sense only if the opposition is in a position to “weaken the regime, mobilize the people and change the political atmosphere as we did in 2008.”
“Zhoghovurd” reacts negatively to disciplinary action taken against four judges by Armenia’s Justice Council this week, saying that the move has “nothing to do with justice.” The paper claims that the judges were punished for breaching “internal rules of the game within the regime.”