(Saturday, August 19)
In its editorial “Haykakan Zhamanak” suggests that it is time for Levon Ter-Petrosian to return to active politics. “Today, many are convinced that people will listen to Levon Ter-Petrosian and will understand him. And different persons on different occasions try to convince the first president to re-engage in active politics, saying that the people is waiting for his steps,” the paper claims, adding that yet Ter-Petrosian is not in a hurry to respond to such appeals, ‘because he knows well that only the people has the right to speak on behalf of the people.’ The paper thus makes a point about Ter-Petrosian’s advantage, which it sees in his being a pragmatic politician who cannot rely on unproven convictions.”
“Azg” makes a retrospective evaluation of the activities of the Pan-Armenian Movement (HHSh), a former ruling party led by Levon Ter-Petrosian. “It hadn’t even occurred to them that one could make the country more competitive and try to gain better positions in the negotiating process through carrying out reforms and economic projects. That was really the team with a defeatist psychology and objectively had to leave the political stage,” the daily writes, adding: “Perhaps the first president understands this and that’s why does not respond to the statements of his associates – and not only them – who claim that there is a public demand for his return.”
“Golos Armenii” discards any possibility of the once powerful HHSh returning to active politics today. “People will never vote for any political bloc in which HHSh is involved. Liberal ideas have never appealed to the electorate, especially that when they first entered our republic they immediately became homonymous with [Prime Minister Hrant] Bagratian’s voucher privatization,” the Russian-language newspaper writes.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” remembers the events unfolding 15 years ago on August 19-21. What was later called the Putsch signaled the impeding downfall of the Soviet Union and was a prelude to the so-called “parade of independences” declared by former Soviet republics. The paper writes: “We are approaching the 15th anniversary of our independence in the status of Russia’s vassal and with a criminalized quasi-feudal social order in which elections, the parliament, local governments and other attributes of democracy are only of formal nature, the judicial authorities are an appendix of the executive, and the economic system is only a ‘plaster cast’ of democratic capitalism.”
“Homeland and Honor” party leader Garnik Markarian emphasizes in an “Aravot” interview that the opposition is to blame for the indifference of society: “The opposition is trying to blame the public for what it did wrong or failed to do at all, saying that the public is passive, amorphous and does not struggle.” Meanwhile, Markarian tells the paper that the public is ready to struggle and was ready also during the 2005 constitutional referendum. “It responded to the opposition call to boycott the referendum and did exactly that, but we failed to assure the outcome of that boycott.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that while Environment Minister Vartan Ayvazian is enjoying his vacation on a beach or losing public money in gambling places, the Prosecutor-General’s Office continues to bring new charges against the agencies he supervises. According to the paper, this time the Sevan national park has become a target for the prosecutors.
Meanwhile, “Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that President Robert Kocharian this time feels determined to sack Ayvazian. The paper reminds its readers that still last December the president publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with Ayvazian’s work, but spared Ayvazian following Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s interference.