The front pages of Armenian newspapers carry an extensive coverage of yesterday’s events preceding the approval of the Armenian genocide resolution by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with some providing ample commentaries inside.
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes: “If Turkey has a different opinion about the contents of the genocide resolution and generally about the tragedy that happened [at the beginning of last century], no one has so far prevented it from presenting this opinion to the discussion of U.S. lawmakers and advancing it through a democratic procedure.”
“Hayk” puts the debate into a different perspective: “It turns out that those who impatiently waited for the congressmen to consider this resolution wanted once again to make sure that Turkey is a strategic partner of the United States. On the other hand, a logical question arises – what will Armenia and its citizens gain if the Americans condemn the genocide? Naturally nothing. On the contrary, it will incite anti-Armenian sentiments in Turkey with all the ensuing consequences. Of course, it is extremely important for normalizing Armenia-Turkey relations that the Turks themselves condemn the genocide, but the discussion of this matter by Americans or Europeans only cause reaction from Turkey.”
Under the headline “To Close or to Muzzle”, “168 Zham” ironically makes a suggestion before next year’s presidential election: “If the incumbent authorities were any clever, they would have immediately removed any control over television and radio companies and would allow discussions before the presidential election. There is nothing to fear for them. It will only be useful for the current administration, because through politicians of different caliber the opposition will use the occasion not for a debate with the current leadership but to lash out at the previous ‘criminal’ regime.”
“Aravot” publishes the results of an opinion poll commissioned by the paper itself. It suggests that if the presidential election were to be held next Sunday, 16.6 percent of Yerevan residents would vote for current Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, 9.8 percent would vote for ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian, 5.9 percent for Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian, 2.3 percent for opposition National-Democratic Union leader Vazgen Manukian, 2 percent for ex-parliament speaker, chairman of the opposition Orinats Yerkir party Artur Baghdasarian, 1.5 percent for Armenian Revolutionary Federation member, Deputy Parliament Speaker Vahan Hovannisian, 1.2 percent for opposition National Unity party leader Artashes Geghamian, 1.1 percent for Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and People’s Party leader Tigran Karapetian each. According to the pollster, all other politicians received less than 1 percent approval.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reminds that next year’s budget envisages $2.5 billion in its expenditure pattern and explains: “When Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian for the first time unveiled that figure from the parliament tribune it caused certain excitement, but when it turned out that the matter concerned the consolidated budget and not the state budget, that excitement somewhat abated, and then as it turned out that this year’s consolidated budget is already $1.5 billion, the excitement disappeared altogether.”