Երկուշաբթի, հոկտեմբերի 20, 2014 Ժամանակը Երեւանում 17:02

in English

Press Review

“168 Zham” runs a commentary on the 22nd anniversary of the official establishment of Armenia’s Armed Forces marked as a public holiday. The paper says the fact that the officials celebrations coincided with increased skirmishes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontlines makes many Armenians take “a more emotional look at Army Day.” “Naturally, this holiday … is an occasion for the authorities to come up with even more pathetic statements,” it says. “One gets the impression that the authorities want to offset their failings in all areas with grandiose [army-related] rhetoric.”

“Zhamanak” carries an interview with Lieutenant-General Haykaz Baghmanian, a deputy chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff. Baghmanian dismisses suggestions that the military meddles in political affairs by forcing soldiers to vote for incumbent presidents and ruling parties in national elections. He says that military personnel simply exercise their constitutional right to vote. “At least, we did not ‘guide’ anyone in the last two elections,” insists Baghmanian. “We handed out [booklets] and said, ‘Read them carefully and vote for anyone you want.’ We said, ‘This is our commander-in-chief, and this is the other candidate.’”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” has “mixed feelings” about Army Day. “On the one hand, there are still fresh memories of the January 19 incident [in Nagorno-Karabakh,] which only makes us feel proud and protected and show respect for our soldiers,” explains the paper. “On the other hand, there are problems and unfortunately they are numerous.”

(Anush Martirosian)
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