The 14th anniversary of a referendum on independence that led Armenia to declare independence from the Soviet Union is the main theme of Wednesday’s Armenian press commentary.
“Fourteen years ago to the day, the overwhelming majority of the republic’s population said yes to the realization of the centuries-old dream to live in a free and independent country,” writes “Azg.” “Fourteen years was enough time for the population of our country to become deeply disappointed with our first and then second presidents and the authorities in general. More than a million Armenians have left the republic, fled the independence. Is this independence we wanted?” The paper concludes that the independence anniversary will not be felt as a holiday by most Armenians “as long as presidential, parliamentary and local elections are rigged, arbitrary government practices, rather than the law, reign in the country.”
“One thing is beyond doubt,” editorializes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Independence is our destiny.”
“We were lucky with the independence,” a prominent Armenian writer, Aghasi Ayvazian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We were granted it. We were part of an empire, it crumbled, we all became independent, found ourselves in anarchy and our anarchy came to be called independence.”
“Those who were born after September 21, 1991, do not yet play a role in the public life of our country and will not do that for ten more years, whereas we, those who spent part of our life in an alien state, are accustomed to collective non-freedom and collective irresponsibility,” “Aravot” says in an editorial. “For us, the state is made up of kings and princes and represents a common Dad. Everywhere the same question is asked: When will we have a government that thinks about the people a little? The answer is obvious: never.”
“Today we are about to hold another referendum which should lead to the enactment of constitutional amendments,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “As was the case 14 years ago, the ‘yes’ vote is slowly clearing its way.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” likens the Armenian opposition’s anticipated behavior during the referendum to “special operations that are sometimes carried out in the world for wrecking the political and economic infrastructure of an enemy country.”
“The constitutional referendum will mark the beginning of the country’s democratization process,” opposition leader Hovannes Hovannisian assures “Haykakan Zhamanak.” Hovannisian continues to predict the formation of a “serious opposition format carrying liberal values.”