“Aravot” ridicules the growing furor over the presence of homosexuals in Armenia’s political elite sparked by the nationalist Armenian Aryan Union, saying that this is what now preoccupies the parliamentarians more than anything else. “Carrying the stigma of being gay is as unbearable as the death for the Armenian men,” the paper says. Especially after presidential adviser Garnik Isagulian’s recent threat to “remove the homosexuals from the government.”
“So at stake are also the [government] posts of some people,” adds “Aravot.” “And this is the most terrible thing for an Armenian man. When they are accused of bribery they don’t give a damn. When they are confronted with compelling evidence of abuse of power … they again don’t care. When they were getting elected by violating the elementary democratic norms and the constitution it cast no shadow on their ‘good reputation’. All of that, as it turns out, is not shameful.” It took an accusation of homosexualism to “agitate their souls.”
“It is impossible to root out corruption with only punitive mechanisms,” Hrair Karapetian, a senior lawmaker from the Dashnaktsutyun party, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” Popular intolerance of the practice is also important, he says. “One of the cause of thriving corruption is that there are too many oversight bodies in our country while the system operates in a very inefficient manner.” Karapetian renews Dashnaktsutyun’s calls for the creation of a powerful anti-corruption agency that would unite the oversight services of the president, the government’s and the Finance Ministry as well as some police units.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a “new format” of cooperation among Armenian opposition forces is in the making. It will likely involve the HHSh party and other allies of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. The authorities are again trying to play the HHSh card in a bid to scare away the mainstream opposition from the former ruling party.
“Azg” believes that the controversial Council of Europe report on Nagorno-Karabakh is “flawed but not dishonest.” “Instead of talking too much and trading recriminations, the Armenian side, including our representatives to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, should try to work with the [PACE’s] new rapporteur, using all diplomatic techniques,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” anticipates “yet another drastic change” in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy in the wake of President Ilham Aliev’s strongly-worded speech at the UN General Assembly. The paper says Aliev hopes that the United States will open a military base in his country and try to force Armenia and Russia to make concessions on Karabakh. Hence, his allegations about Armenian support for international terrorism. However, the strategy may well backfire because Washington does not care much about returning Karabakh under Azerbaijani control. “We are only left to await the decisive moment when Aliev the gambler will commit his next, possibly biggest blunder.”