“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that by effectively blocking a parliament debate on the Soviet-era bank accounts President Robert Kocharian showed that “the real value of the [ruling three-party] coalition is zero.” “Just the fact that it was possible to collect 66 signatures in the National Assembly is enough to cast serious doubt on the Republican prime minister having a majority in parliament.” The paper says parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian also had a bitter pill to swallow as he failed to make sure that all of the 65 deputies that demanded the debate show up for Monday’s emergency session. “Kocharian showed who actually pulls the strings in the National Assembly.”
“If those who demanded an extraordinary session on the possible return of the [bank] deposits do not understand that they are doing, that means they are stupid,” snipes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “If they do understand what they are doing then they are bastards.” Armenia already has enough “bastards,” says the pro-Kocharian daily. “Aren’t they ashamed of deceiving people into thinking that the deposits are about to be returned in order to achieve their own political goals?”
According to “Iravunk,” those who secretly sponsored the collection of signatures sought to remind Prime Minister Andranik Markarian of his political vulnerability and rekindle tensions inside the coalition. the Republicans and Dashnaktsutyun will definitely lose public support as a result of their strong opposition to a public discussion of the issue. The paper predicts that Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir could be removed from the coalition early next year and replaced by two other pro-Kocharian groups represented in parliament. It says Markarian will remain prime minister but will become even less powerful than he is now.
“Aravot” says that when Russian parliament speaker Boris Gryzlov described Armenia as Russia’s outpost in the region he probably sought to please his Armenian hosts. The latter really liked what he said, says the paper. “Interestingly, not only the authorities but also the parliamentary opposition has paid no attention to that humiliating and offensive description and made no statements protesting it. That the status of a outpost is not at all desirable is born out by numerous historical examples.” The paper reminds that Armenia was already a Russian outpost during the First World War but this did not prevent it from being forsaken by the Russians after the 1915 genocide.
“Iravunk” writes in this regard that “Armenia’s president is not ashamed of Armenia’s status as an outpost” and even considers that fact an advantage. “Having been Armenia’s president for six years, Robert Kocharian still does not understood what a structure he governs,” says the paper.