“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” accuses opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian and his political team of withholding important information about his February 21 meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian. “Amazingly, details of that meeting are disclosed by Sarkisian himself, thus forcing Hovannisian to come up with his own comments on them,” says the paper. “With his actions Raffi Hovannisian has created a situation in which against his background Serzh Sarkisian looks like a supporter of free speech.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” disputes Hovannisian’s claims that the February 18 election thrust Armenia into a political crisis. “Nothing indicates that there is a political crisis in our country as is constantly claimed by distinguished senators sitting at a forum in Theater (Liberty) Square,” says the pro-government paper. It argues that all other major political forces are now busy preparing for the upcoming mayoral elections in Yerevan.
“Zhamanak” carries an interview with Grigor Grigorian, a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) who commanded Armenian interior troops during the March 2008 unrest in Yerevan. Grigorian refuses to answer a question about whether those responsible for the deaths of ten people will ever be punished. He also says that nobody ordered him to shoot and kill opposition protesters. Grigorian notes at the same time that top military and security officials in Armenia never act on their own. “At that time I acted with a clear conscience. I believe that I acted correctly,” he says.
Artsvik Minasian, another lawmaker who is affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), explains to “Zhoghovurd” why his opposition party boycotted the presidential ballot but decided to take part in the Yerevan elections scheduled for May 5. Minasian says that the municipal elections will be held under the proportional system and that even if Dashnaktsutyun does not win them it can gain control over the Yerevan municipality together with other opposition forces. The opposition could build on that success to “win power in other parts of the republic,” he says.