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Press Review


“Hayots Ashkhar” scolds “a number of individuals” for defending opposition activist Shant Harutiunian’s purported attempt to topple the government, which resulted in violent clashes between his supporters and riot police in Yerevan. The paper complains that they are now trying to turn Harutiunian into a national hero. “When it emerged that police officers were injured in the clashes some people made no secret of their joy,” it says. “One might think that people are happy because what happened was so good.”

“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that politicians, analysts and media commentators are being too scholarly in their ongoing heated discussion of Harutiunian’s actions. The pro-opposition paper says they should realize that the November 5 violence near Yerevan’s Liberty Square was an inevitable result of long-running government corruption, mismanagement and human rights abuses. “The Armenian authorities have been abusing the people for the past ten years,” it claims. “They have been particularly abusive in the last two years. Shant Harutiunian simply lost his nerve.”

“Aravot” contends that in Armenia and many other countries in the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America and Asia the state security apparatus and other institutions have one supreme goal: “to legitimize government decisions and ensure the material comfort of the ruling regimes.” “But this does not mean that laws must be flouted,” editorializes the paper. “The ‘look-at-them’ argument is not valid because if you are guided by your expediency you will not be different from ‘them.’ When the authorities were rigging the [presidential] elections in 2003 and 2013 their main argument was, ‘If Stepan [Demirchian ] or Raffi [Hovannisian] become president they will destroy the country.’” The paper agrees that neither opposition leader would have probably done a good job of running the country. “But as experience sows, legitimacy is much more importance for meeting internal and external challenges than leadership skills,” it says.

(Naira Bulghadarian)
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