According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the fact that the Armenian community in the United States has endorsed and campaigned for an opposition presidential candidate attests to the strength of American democracy. Only in a truly free country can an ethnic minority openly refuse to back the incumbent president. Especially a minority that boasts many businesspeople and representatives of the upper middle class. In Armenia, the paper says, they would have not dared to challenge the ruling regime. This is also the reason why the Armenian community in Russia and other ex-Soviet states always side with pro-government candidates.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also reports that the Vienna-based Secretariat of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has sent separate letters to the presidents of Armenia and several other CIS nations that jointly attacked the OSCE this summer for its strong criticism of their elections. The paper says the OSCE told Robert Kocharian that it was appalled by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s famous remark that Armenians and Europeans have different ideas of democracy. The letter says it ran counter to Armenia’s commitments to the OSCE.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the situation in the Armenian parliament only proves that existing presidential system of governance is best suited for Armenia. The paper accuses parliamentarians of placing their partisan interests above national interests and failing to perform their duties. “Sometimes one gets the impression that the need for legislative authority in Armenia is felt only for receiving foreign delegations and representing the country at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,” it says. “On the other hand, it is terrible to even imagine that our parliamentarians … could one day decide Armenia’s fate. The parliament is simply the consequence, not the cause, of our national vices.”
“Aravot” describes the continuing saga of Armenia’s ArmenTel operator a “farce.” The paper finds credible opposition lawmaker Arshak Sadoyan’s allegations that ArmenTel’s parent company, OTE, has bribed some Armenian government officials into delaying the abolition of its monopoly. “The strangest thing is that Sadoyan’s statement has provoked no reaction even from those against whom the accusation was directed. In a normal state, a statement like that would be enough to have prosecutors conduct an appropriate investigation … But in our country nobody cares about such statements. And this fact gives us reason to suggest that our government will make any decision on ArmenTel without taking into account our opinion.”