“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses Armenian parliamentarians opposed to the abolition of the death penalty of contributing to Armenia’s international isolation. The pro-Kocharian paper say they are thus placing the “cheap lives” of the parliament gunmen above Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe. It says their desire to “wipe out those criminals” is dangerous for the country.
“Azg” and “Hayots Ashkhar” say the Minsk Group co-chairs confirmed the widely held belief that one should not expect a breakthrough in Karabakh peace talks any time soon. The latter quotes the leader of the Miasnutyun parliamentary faction, Galust Sahakian, as saying that the forthcoming elections in Armenia are not a major obstacle to the peace process. He says the government and the main political forces “act with the same position.” But according to opposition deputy Shavarsh Kocharian, the mediators are waiting until the end of the Armenian and Azerbaijani elections to drastically step up their pressure on the conflicting parties.
A senior member of the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the 16-party opposition alliance and Robert Kocharian have few conceptual differences. Andranik Hovakimian feels that the alliance can not motivate Armenians by simply advocating a regime change. He says only former President Levon Ter-Petrosian offers a real “serious alternative” to policies pursued by the current authorities.
“Orran” says Armenians have long lost faith in their leaders and it is about the time they resigned. The paper says this is no surprise because Kocharian and his regime were never fit to run the country. “They will be driven out [of office] whether they like it or not…They should now think of what they will leave behind. They still have time to do something.”
Transport and Communications Minister Andranik Manukian again blasts ArmenTel. In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Manukian says the telecom monopoly’s failure to meet consumer demand for mobile phones proves that its stated investment figures were grossly inflated. Manukian describes the existing situation in the mobile phone market as an “economic nonsense.” “If ArmenTel had indeed invested $130 million, then telecommunication services would have now been more developed in Armenia than in Greece,” he says, adding that the real figure is just $50 million.
“Aravot” quotes the lawyer for General Samvel Babayan, Zhudeks Shakarian, as saying that he is being illegally denied access to the jailed former commander of the Karabakh army. Shakarian says he wants to take the case to an international court.