“Orakarg” compares the latest political developments in Armenia and neighboring Georgia. It says that as the Armenian parliament lifted former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s immunity from prosecution on Tuesday Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat in crucial parliamentary elections. The paper published by Oskanian’s Civilitas Foundation says that unlike their Armenian counterparts Georgia’s leaders set a precedent of regime change through elections in the South Caucasus after the Soviet collapse.
“Aravot” says governing circles across the former Soviet Union and businesspeople close to them feel that losing power would have disastrous consequences for them. “They present this absolutely understandable fear as concern over the country’s fate,” writes the paper. “This stereotypical thinking probably stems from feudal traditions. In the West that stereotype disappeared about two centuries ago. In Asia, Russia and other post-Soviet countries this illusion harbored by regimes and, to a lesser extent, peoples persists.”
The paper says that Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yushchenko and Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili are the only ex-Soviet leaders trying to get rid of it. “Of course, those leaders are far from being ideal, and the situation in their countries is not quite enviable,” it says. But it says they have helped to make their societies more mature and realize that their votes can make a difference.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the parliament green light for Oskanian’s prosecution is not a “tragedy.” “First of all, the former foreign minister is now [perceived as] a victim, and victims are traditionally loved in Armenia,” comments the paper. “Second, he is now famous … He can now try to become president. Why not?”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” scoffs at President Serzh Sarkisian’s criticism of corrupt practices in the government voiced at a series of meetings with senior Armenian officials. “The process is having increasingly ridiculous manifestations,” says the paper. “A few days ago, for example, he gathered officials responsible for the fiscal sphere to discuss a further improvement of the business environment.” At that meeting Sarkisian vowed to punish any official who would exert pressure on and interfere in the work of the State Revenue Committee (SRC). “First of all, Sarkisian has no power to punish anyone,” comments the paper. “If an official -- a minister, for instance -- tells tax bodies to collect less taxes from one or another business, it’s a crime that must be dealt with by law-enforcers … To put it simply, Serzh Sarkisian has still not realized that the country must be guided by laws, rather than his ideas of the right and the wrong.”