“Aravot” accuses Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian of making “incorrect clams” about the official inquiry into the recent attacks on Armenian journalists. Hovsepian claimed this week that some journalists are refusing to give testify to the investigators and that no reporters were detained during the break-up of the opposition demonstration on the night from April 12 to 13. He had earlier told human rights ombudsman Larisa Lacertian that the journalists refuse to talk because they “reached agreement on compensatory damages.” (Presumably with those who smashed their cameras on April 5.)
“But no one has bargained with the oligarchs over the bruises,” “Aravot” comments angrily. “So Aghvan Hovsepian had better stop attempts to distort reality and not cover up the [prosecutors’] inability or unwillingness to punish the guilty.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the authorities will treat further opposition protests with a “presumption of guilty” after enacting a controversial law on public rallies over strong objections from the Council of Europe and the OSCE. “The expulsion from the Council of Europe is becoming inevitable,” the paper declares, saying that the authorities are failing to comply with last week’s resolution adopted by the organization’s Parliamentary Assembly. “Even the prospect of Armenia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe does not worry them because they see an unjustified show of force as the only way of clinging to power.”
Deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Aravot” that both the authorities and the opposition should “put everything aside” and take the resolution “very seriously.” He also defends the law on rallies.
The chairman of the parliament committee on foreign relations, Armen Rustamian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the PACE resolution has not left Armenia in a “bad position.” “Armenia accepted that challenge, agreed to an open debate, thereby showing that our opposition has sufficient clout in the country to be able to raise Armenia-related issues in the Parliamentary Assembly with just two representatives.”
“Staffing policy is one of the most vulnerable spots in our state,” writes “Golos Armenii.” The paper points to a “weak cadre bank” of parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir party. Two of the three Orinats Yerkir members who became ministers last June have already lost their jobs. The third one, Education Minister Sergo Yeritsian, has also been embattled from the outset. And Orinats Yerkir has still not suggested a replacement for Minister of Urban Development Ara Aramian who was sacked last month over a shooting scandal involving his son.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the newly appointed Culture Minister Hovik Hoveyan, who only recently joined Orinats Yerkir, has already demanded two cars from the government. One for himself and the other for his family. The paper says Hoveyan has also demanded a new furniture for his ministerial study. The old furniture belonged to his Orinats Yerkir predecessor, Tamara Poghosian. She had it removed from the office after her resignation last week. The paper draws a withering conclusion, “It looks as though Hoveyan has dreamed about becoming a
minister since childhood. This was probably the reason why he very much liked the ideology of the Orinats Yerkir Party in a matter of hours.”