“It is very weird that the coalition forces, which have offended and humiliated each other by all possible means, are confident about reaching agreement on the next [human rights] ombudsman,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “That is possible only in one case: if the name of that candidate is conveyed to them by Robert Kocharian. Otherwise, nobody would have dared to say that the coalition will be united on that issue. Experience shows that the coalition is united only on those issues that personally concern Kocharian … The next ombudsman will therefore be chosen by Robert Kocharian, rather than the National Assembly.”
“The parliament will simply ratify his appointment,” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “So what did the referendum on amendments to Armenia’s constitution change? What it changed is that in place of Larisa Alaverdian, who had begun grasping the meaning of her post, we will have a tamed ombudsman.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the emergence of new pro-government factions which it says aspire to winning at least 30 percent of the vote in the next parliamentary election. “Kocharian’s goal is not just to fill the next parliament with forces loyal to him. There exists another necessary condition. Those forces must be not only loyal to Kocharian but also hostile to each other. The latter condition is being met consistently and step by step.”
“There can be no doubt that the Armenian regime is authoritarian,” Arman Navasardian, a retired senior diplomat, writes in “Azg.” Navasardian lists elements of authoritarian society, including a weak and marginalized opposition, which he says are present in Armenia. Even the ruling three-party coalition, he says, has little say in key government decisions.
“Iravunk” reports that Kocharian’s young press secretary, Victor Soghomonian, has been appointed as head of the supervisory board of Armenia’s state-run Linguistics University. The paper finds the appointment “more than amazing,” arguing that Soghomonian himself was a student just a few years ago. “What is the presidential spokesman to do with all this? For which merits does he get such a status at such a young age? No less amazing is the fact that [university] rector Suren Zolian has sent a special congratulatory note to Robert Kocharian, describing what happened as ‘special attention to our university.’”