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Press Review



“Zhamanak” looks at the question about President Serzh Sarkisian’s ‘gambling habit’ posed to the Armenian head of state by opposition lawmaker Zaruhi Postanjian at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly session in Strasbourg from the perspective of “internal fermentations” within the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK): “The reaction of HHK members to Postanjian’s comments as well as [Parliament Speaker] Hovik Abrahamian’s very quick initiatives reveal the outline of the intraparty bickering over this incident. [Head of the Armenian delegation to the PACE] David Harutiunian apparently tries to get European support in this matter, which he will, no doubt, need in the matter of clarifying the internal party relations. And Postanjian’s question is only an occasion here, while the roots of these rumbles go much deeper and Harutiunian knows it all too well and that’s why he appears to be digging ‘deeper’ than the Postanjian affair.”

“Zhoghovurd” discusses the comments by head of the pro-establishment Armenian Eagles organization Khachik Asrian. In an interview with a local paper Asrian, who also holds the post of deputy minister of sports and youth affairs and is a member of the HHK, called for burning Postanjian at the stake for her question to the president at the PACE. “In normal countries if a state official makes hate speech, he or she will not only be dismissed from the government position but will at least be arrested. But this is in normal countries and not in Armenia where members of the ruling party enjoy their immunity from prosecution,” the paper writes.

“Aravot” editorializes on the same subject: “It is several centuries now that burning people at the stake hasn’t been practiced as a form of execution. Perhaps in the jungles of Africa that are quite a long way from the [Asrian’s native] Syunik plateau some savage tribes still preserve this tradition, but those tribes are not members of the European People’s Party as the HHK, they do not want ‘deep and comprehensive’ free trade with Europe and do not participate in the ‘Bologna process’. And even in the [Russia-led] Customs and Eurasian Unions the morals and manners are not that savage.”

Ahead of another Erebuni-Yerevan celebration marking the 2795th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan as a settlement “Hraparak” asks Mayor Taron Markarian whether it is wise to spend half a million dollars on festive events in a city and country whether there is such a high rate of poverty and where numerous problems remain unsolved. The mayor replies: “As for the speculation about this money that have been made in the media and through online social networking sites recently, I would say the following: one should not worry about it as most of this money, a lion’s share of it has been provided by different benefactors of Yerevan whether in the form of funding or with their immediate involvement. That’s why it is superfluous to mention the size of this spending. Benefactors do not necessarily participate with money, they can have their involvement with other means as well.”

(Tigran Avetisian)
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