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Press Review


(Saturday, October 27)

“Zhamanak” comments on the 13th anniversary of the October 1999 terrorist attack on the Armenian parliament that left Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, parliament speaker Karen Demirchian and six other officials dead. The paper says that the killings contributed to the formation of a “clan-based and criminal-oligarchic” political system and the entrenchment of a culture of electoral fraud in Armenia. “The climax of all that was [the bloody post-election unrest of] March 1, 2008, when ten people were shot dead in Yerevan for the sake of the regime’s reproduction” it says.

“Zhoghovurd” says the key questions regarding the parliament shootings remain unanswered. “Who was behind Nairi Hunanian’s gang? Who were the real organizers of the slaughter? Why did the National Security Service, which was headed by Serzh Sarkisian [at the time,] fail to prevent it? These questions will not be answered as long as the state is governed by those who bolstered their power after that crime,” claims the paper.

“Hayots Ashkhar” is confused by continuing talk of an electoral alliance between the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian National Congress (HAK). “There would have been no such confusion had the leaders of these two forces personally reminded [the public] of their existence,” writes the paper. “They have kept silent since May 6 and are not even showing signs of ending their vows of silence.”

“There has been no Arab Spring in Armenia not because Serzh Sarkisian’s rule is more civilized but mainly because the opposition is more civilized,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” The paper says the Armenian authorities must not take this for granted. Unless they change ways they will eventually be confronted with “unpredictable shocks,” it says.

“168 Zham” looks at reports that the Armenian government is planning fresh constitutional amendments to introduce at least one more post of deputy prime minister. The paper suggests that this might be done to entice the BHK back into the government. It dismisses claims that the government will operate more effectively if Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian has more than one deputy. It says Sarkisian himself stressed the need for staff cuts in the government recently.

(Tigran Avetisian)
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