“Aravot” trumpets a “crisis of responsibility” in Armenia’s ruling coalition, reporting that the governing Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir parties prevented the parliament on Wednesday from approving a government report on privatization in 2002. The paper emphasizes that the program had been endorsed by President Robert Kocharian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries an irritated reaction to the move from Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK). The leader of the HHK faction in parliament, Galust Sahakian, denounces it as a “political absurdity that can have no legal consequences.” The paper, for its part, presents it as another indication of a coalition discord.
“Ayb-Fe” continues to analyze Kocharian’s most recent televised interview that was apparently prompted by events in Georgia. “It can be said that Robert Kocharian threatened both opposition leaders and the population,” it writes. “It is hard to imagine him forgetting our post-election demonstrations attended by tens of thousands of people.” The paper Kocharian is wrong to claim that his controversial reelection aroused “no doubts” at home and abroad.
Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian tells “Aravot” that his party would accept any outcome of the proposed referendum of confidence in Kocharian if it is called and held in accordance with Armenian law. Turning to his war of words with opposition leader Artashes Geghamian, Hovannisian says he is “not ashamed” of spending several years in jail on terrorism charges under the regime of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “Nor am I afraid of going to prison again,” he adds.
“The opposition is apparently convinced that Kocharian will rule Armenia for at least another 20 years,” comments “Aravot.” “Otherwise, why should they have been worried that the [October 1999] terrorists’ appeal to the president to reconsider their verdicts will be approved? If [Nairi] Hunanian got guarantees directly from Kocharian, then he is the one who should fulfill them 20 years later. But according to the constitution, we will have a third president in four years’ time and a fourth or fifth president 20 years later.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” the chairman of the Armenian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Armen Rustamian, criticizes unnamed colleagues for leaking to the media the transcript of Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s recent parliamentary briefing on the Karabakh peace process. “Such behavior does not benefit the resolution of the Artsakh issue,” he says, adding that such leaks will discourage the government from divulging more details of peace talks to parliamentarians in the future.