“Hraparak” carries an interview with Grigor Grigorian, a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) who commanded Armenian interior troops during the March 2008 deadly crackdown on the opposition. Grigorian makes clear that he supports the opposition Armenian National Congress’s (HAK) calls for the creation of a parliamentary commission charged with investigating those events. He assures the paper that he is not worried about being implicated in the killings. “I was a military man,” he explains. “I carried out my military duties. I did not go even one centimeter beyond my powers. There were victims among both the [protesting] people and my subordinates. That caused me a great deal of pain.”
Asked who was responsible for the bloodshed, the retired general replies, “I too would like to see people who really did identified and punished because I’m not a criminal. Neither are my subordinates.” It is up to law-enforcement to do that, adds Grigorian.
“Hayots Ashkhar” insists, meanwhile, that HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and his entourage attempted to stage a coup d’etat in March 2008. The pro-government paper says the HAK’s demands for a fresh inquiry into the unrest are therefore disingenuous.
“Aravot” says that the upcoming HAK rally in Yerevan promises to be the largest anti-government protest in months. The paper predicts that popular discontent with socioeconomic hardship will significantly boost attendance at Saturday’s rally in Liberty Square. “The authorities need to understand and analyze its causes,” it says in an editorial. “Assuming, of course, that they have such a desire and think of the country’s future from time to time.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” is highly skeptical about a parliamentary commission initiated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) to look into energy dealings with Russia. The paper is sure that the commission will not investigate the legality of the government’s secret subsidizing of the Russian gas price form 2011-2013. “Opposition claims that the HHK will use the commission to cover up the crime are based on concrete arguments,” it says. “Not because the HHK unites bad persons but because the HHK simply has no other option.”