The victory of the Armenian national men’s team in the 2012 Chess Olympiad held in Istanbul is the top story in Tuesday’s Armenian newspapers.
“Only our chess players have managed to change the direction of recent days’ news reports centering on the Azerbaijani axe-murderer [Ramil Safarov,]” writes “Orakarg.” “Against the depressing backdrop of recent days’ reports our chess players have proved that a well-organized and united minority can break up the resistance of the world’s mightiest forces.”
“Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian stated on Monday that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had no right to pardon and effectively acquit Safarov. “The president of a country cannot grant a pardon to a person sentenced by a court in another country,” said Hovsepian. The paper believes that Hovsepian’s statement on the subject is of little practical value to Armenia given the country’s own problems with lack of rule of law and abuses committed by law-enforcement authorities.
“Aravot” says that Sunday’s local elections across Armenia were also marked by vote buying by the Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties. The paper says that in places like Gyumri neither party actually needed to hand out vote bribes. “The only possible explanation is that candidates just cannot imagine achieving success without vote buying, while citizens cannot imagine going to the polls for free,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s decision not to take up his seat in the Armenian parliament. “Many wondered after his announcement why the Zharangutyun party leader did not take such a step immediately after the May 6 parliamentary elections,” writes the paper. “But they should not be bewildered seeing as Raffi Hovannisian very much likes creating shows around himself and make them as long-lasting as possible.” The paper notes that Hovannisian already resigned his parliament seat but changed his mind several days later in 2009.
“Hayatsk” says remarks made by “oligarch” Ruben Hayrapetian in a newly published interview with the French-Armenian magazine “Nouvelles d’Armenie” could prove highly embarrassing for the ruling HHK. The paper says that President Serzh Sarkisian’s standing could be undermined ahead of the February 2013 presidential election if law-enforcement bodies do not investigate Hayrapetian’s reported threats addressed to civic activists protesting the June 17 death of a man at a Yerevan restaurant owned by his family. It says that the controversial tycoon has not refuted so far the remarks attributed to him.