“Hayk” reports that the Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian’s appeal against the extension of his pre-trial detention. “The reason cited by the court is ridiculous,” the paper comments angrily. “Its decision once again proves that not only is the judicial system in Armenia not independent but has been turned into an institution serving Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. In private conversations, judges admit that they are sick and tired of this situation but still lack the will to oppose orders issued from the presidential palace or the government.” Calling Arzumanian a political prisoner, the paper also claims that he will be kept in prison at least until the 2008 presidential election.
“According to our information, first President Levon Ter-Petrosian is visited these days by various oligarchs and businessmen that are serving and absolutely loyal to the current authorities,” says “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “They are trying to ascertain whether he intends to stand in the upcoming presidential elections. They leave Levon Ter-Petrosian without getting an answer to the question preoccupying them because he does not give a definite answer, saying that he still has time to make a decision.” The paper says the visitors pledge their allegiance to the ex-president and assure him that they would stand by his possible presidential bid.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” the official results of the May parliamentary elections are rejected most vocally by those parties that failed to win a single parliament seat and are thereby trying to rationalize their disastrous performance. “Quite naturally, it is the winning political forces -- and the Republicans in the first instance -- that found themselves in the position of a scapegoat,” writes the paper. “One should not doubt that the same will happen during the presidential elections. But maybe it’s time to learn from Karabakh. Maybe it is time to stop looking for scapegoats and blaming one’s failures on others.”
“Aravot” cites the findings of a new opinion poll by the Armenian Sociological Association according to which almost half of Armenians believe that the May elections were “free but not fair.” “Twenty-eight percent of those polled said the elections to the National Assembly were neither free, nor fair,” reports the paper. It says the survey also suggests that a considerable number of Armenians feel sorry that the opposition parties led by Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian failed to get into the new assembly.