August 26, Saturday
The front pages of Armenian newspapers write extensively about the death of famous Armenian poetess Silva Kaputikian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes: “Silva Kaputikian was one of the first intellectuals of Armenia in opposition to the communist authorities who supported the Karabakh movement in 1988. But to the credit of Kaputikian, in the last years of her life, unlike many intellectuals in Armenia, she didn’t lose her civil position. And today, when we no longer have Kaputikian with us, it is good that she lived her life so that now we don’t have to say false and insincere words about her.”
MP Alvard Petrosian, who is a writer and publicist herself, emphasizes in “Hayots Ashkhar”: “She had such an active presence in our life that one can described her not only as a poetess, but also as a ‘citizen of this country’. There was no issue or sphere related to the homeland that she would not express her position on. It was not always that her position was pleasant to the majority or minority, but it is the cross that all great personalities have to bear.”
Attaching great importance to free and fair elections in the country, “Haykakan Zhamanak’s” analyst writes: “Today, all politicians promise to voters that they would not plunder if they come to power, or if they plundered once, now they are engaged in charity and pledge that they will not plunder again. In a situation like this a citizen of Armenia has nothing else to do than make a choice based on candidates’ appearances.” According to the paper, the election in Armenia is made by the following principle: “Some more like tall and well-built candidates, others give preference to short and cunning ones, yet others like ‘actors’, others like ‘tough-talking’ candidates with strict expressions on their faces, and still others candidates prefer candidates with intelligent expressions on their faces.” “But it is no longer politics, it is rather a mixture of a beauty contest and a mafia card game,” the paper concludes.
People’s Party (HZhK) leader Stepan Demirchian also reflects on the subject of elections. In an “Aravot” interview, he stresses: “It is very good if there are parties that speak about combining efforts to ensure fair elections, but first of all they have to give a clear and unbiased evaluation to the past elections.” Meanwhile, according to Demirchian, some parties use ‘double standards’, as they speak about riggings during the parliamentary elections, but turn a blind eye to the larger-scale fraud committed at the presidential elections.
“Aravot” also writes that a charge of demanding a bribe is being prepared against Environment Minister Vartan Ayvazian, who recently returned from vacation.
And “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun”, citing its sources, provides more details on the topic. “Vartan Ayvazian demanded a $3-million bribe from American businessmen to give them the right to develop one of the mines. And he put it straight saying that he was to transfer part of that bribe to two other senior officials.” According to the paper’s information, the minister had already met those businessmen before and hinted to them about the bribe, and that’s why the American businessmen came to the second meeting with a tape-recorder. After the meeting, the paper writes, the businessmen transferred the tape to the U.S. ambassador to Armenia who forwarded it to Armenian President Robert Kocharian.