“Hraparak” adds its voice to mounting condemnations of Thursday’s late-night attack on Aram Manukian, a parliament deputy and senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). “For some reason, such crimes are committed only against people supporting the opposition and wishing regime change,” writes the paper. “It is hard to avoid a conclusion that they are organized or encouraged by the authorities … Such violence also testifies to the fact that within our society there is no vigorous resentment and intolerance towards it and serious demand for solving these cases.”
“We can conclude that a manhunt has begun in Armenia,” “Zhoghovurd” editorializes on the same subject. The paper speculates that the attacks on Manukian and Suren Sargsian, a leader of an anti-government group uniting veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, may have been aimed at distracting the public from the earlier beating of two other prominent veterans. The latter incident is widely linked with Levon Yeranosian, a deputy chief of the Armenian police and the commander of Armenian interior troops. “At any rate, if the police do not solve these cases then we will be able to say that a criminal gang is operating in Armenia with the connivance and perhaps also blessing of law-enforcers,” concludes the paper.
“For a fairly long time, Serzh Sarkisian was giving the impression of restraint and not reacting to internal political processes,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “At times one had a sense that he has lost control over the situation, leading his political team to wonder whether Sarkisian is capable of any riposte. Despite this, Sarkisian looked inhibited and unresponsive. But the new wave of [politically motivated] violence suggests that Serzh Sarkisian has gotten a free rein. He seems keen to trumpet that he is determined to cling to power till the end.” The paper says this message is addressed to his political allies and opponents alike.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” former Prime Minister Armen Darpinian describes as “unfounded optimism” government claims that foreign direct investment in the Armenian economy will soar after Armenia joins the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Darpinian argues that Armenia is a landlocked country with “numerous transport constraints.” “Any investor seeking to work for the Russian market will prefer to invest in Russia and avoid awful difficulties with transport,” he says. “But I find our membership in the EEU important in terms of transfer of technology.”