Commenting on Robert Kocharian’s latest public pronouncements, “Zhoghovurd” emphasized the fact the former Armenian president said he “had” warm ties with businessman Gagik Tsarukian and criticized the recent government crackdown on the tycoon only in his capacity as ex-president. The paper also takes note of Kocharian’s continuing objections to Armenia’s transformation into a parliamentary republic. The ex-president argued that there are still no strong political parties in the country. It says Kocharian himself suppressed partisan politics during his decade-long rule.
“Zhamanak” says Kocharian is keen to show that he is not totally detached from politics despite the collapse of Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The paper speculates that his remarks were timed to coincide with the government crackdown on another opposition group, the Founding Parliament. It says that against the background of the arrests of the Founding Parliament leaders the ex-president sought to appear more likeable in the public’s eyes than Serzh Sarkisian.
Citing newly disclosed official data, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the declared combined assets of Hovannes Hovsepian, the head of Sarkisian’s Oversight Service, increased by $700,000 last year. “In particular, he claims to have received $600,000 of that sum as donations or aid from four different sources,” says the paper. “Armenia is indeed a paradise where everyone is infinitely kind, generous and always ready to help those in need. And of course, if a person works as head of the presidential Oversight Service he will definitely need aid … Generally speaking, if the chief of the Oversight Service oversees a particular sphere and those in charge of that sphere donate $600,000 to him as a gesture of goodwill, what’s wrong with that?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Armenian-American celebrity Kim Kardashian’s high-profile trip to Armenia is a welcome publicity boost for the country. “Various discussions are underway in social media in connection with Kim Kardashian’s visit,” writes the paper. “There is no lack of sarcastic, jittery and annoyed reactions. Some claim that her image does not befit an Armenian woman. Everyone has the right to have their opinion. But there is no doubt that this woman deserves utmost respect because she has capitalized on her charisma to become a top figure in the international show business.”
“In short, welcome to Armenia, Kim! This is your forefathers’ homeland, your homeland. We hope you’ll love it,” concludes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”