(Saturday, September 22)
“Zhamanak” notes that President Serzh Sarkisian mainly spoke about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in his speech at an official ceremony on Friday marking the 21st anniversary of Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union. “Apparently, this was a hint that the Karabakh issue could come to the fore in forthcoming developments in Armenia and this issue could become key to Armenia’s independence,” presumes the paper. It says that the unresolved dispute with Azerbaijan is of “fundamental importance” to that independence and it might soon prove to be “decisive” for Armenia. “At the same time, one must not exclude a pre-election logic behind all this,” concludes the paper.
“168 Zham” says that despite their mutual antagonism Sarkisian and his two predecessors, Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian, “have proved in recent years that they get along if that is needed for retaining or coming to power.” “If they sometimes thought about state interests as well, they could have marked Independence Day together, thereby laying the foundation of some tradition in an Armenia lacking state traditions,” writes the paper. “They could have jointly congratulated the society on September 21 on Independence Day, while making it clear that they do not cease to be political rivals. That could have made a contribution, no matter how small, to the establishment of a [democratic] political culture.”
“Hraparak” blasts those who it says deride the idea of national independence. The paper says that what they have been complaining about “has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of independence.” “Blaming your feet for a sick head is not only dishonest but also unintelligent,” writes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries a picture of luxury cars parked outside a Yerevan concert hall where Sarkisian held the Independence Day reception. The paper says that none of those cars had mandatory insurance stickers on their windscreens. “Representatives of our ruling elite believe that those stickers are only for suckers,” it says. “And they are not suckers because they are Serzh’s buddies, because every year they are invited to the Hamalir [concert hall] to listen to Serzh’s speech. That is why they don’t have to put any stickers on their cars. They don’t have to pay taxes. They must not be put on trial if they kill someone.”