A parliament deputy from the Dashnaktsutyun party, Ruben Hovsepian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the recent shootings and car bomb attacks are part of a “redistribution of property” by a business elite that has “acquired political authority.” The paper also quotes another Dashnaktsutyun member, Vahan Hovannisian, as calling for the creation of a “security council” that would fight crime and establish law and order. “In fact, it is impossible to reform separate parts of the law-enforcement system and achieve positive results,” Hovannisian says. He calls for a “comprehensive reform” of the entire system. Both Hovsepian and Hovannisian deplore the closure of the A1+ channel.
“I myself would like my children to watch A1+ and understand why their dad is right,” Hovannisian tells “Aravot.” He also presumes that President Kocharian had nothing to do with the broadcasting commission’s refusal to award A1+ a new frequency. But he says if Kocharian was really behind it, Dashnaktsutyun “will ask him to reconsider his decision.”
“Ayb-Fe” reports that the Paris-based watchdog Reporters Sans Frontiers has come out in support of the embattled channel. Its secretary general, Robert Menard, questioned the commission’s independence, saying that all of its nine members were appointed by Kocharian. The paper says Armenian human rights campaigners are skeptical about pro-A1+ statements made by some leaders of the governing coalition. “They are worried that [international] sanctions would deprive them of many things: traveling to Strasbourg, investments,” says Mikael Danielian of the Armenian Helsinki Association. “They don’t care about A1+.”
In an interview with “Golos Armenii,” Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian says the international community should recognize Karabakh’s independence if it wants to rule out the possibility of renewed war in the region. “We have legal, historical and moral grounds for attaining independence, which we de facto have,” he says. “Today our only problem is relations with Azerbaijan, which is also extremely important. We do not intend to perpetuate our feud with Azerbaijan. It’s not beneficial for both us and them.”
Ghukasian also dwells on the idea of Karabakh’s reunification with Armenia. “As an option for the settlement, we are not against uniting with Armenia,” he says. “If Armenia is ready to accept [us], Karabakh will not have a problem with that. The problem is that Armenia is not prepared for that.”
“Azg” comments on Azerbaijani claims that the latest ceasefire violations in the zone of conflict were instigated by the Armenian side. “Of course, they understand in Baku that a ceasefire violation is not in Armenia’s interests,” the paper says, arguing that if the Armenian leadership wanted to “solve certain political issues” through breaching the ceasefire regime it would have done so during the election period, and not now.
In a separate commentary, “Azg” concludes that “Armenia has become a country of artificial [business] monopolies.” The paper cites data published by the government’s Commission to Protect Economic Competition. It reveals in particular that all of Armenia’s mineral water springs are controlled by a single company called Adamand. The paper is convinced that senior government officials are among its owners.
“Aravot” reports that after holding talks with French leaders in Paris last week President Kocharian, accompanied by his family, traveled to a resort town on the French Atlantic coast to spend his summer holiday there. The paper says it is one of France’s most expensive vacation sites.