“Hayots Ashkhar” contends that Armenia’s northwestern regions devastated by the 1988 earthquake have been rebuilt thanks to a “change in ideology.” The paper says the Armenian government has made its reconstruction a top priority and has achieved impressive results in that endeavor. “As a result, we can now talk about the elimination of the term disaster zone,” it says.
But as “Azg” points out, thousands of people in the area still lack adequate housing. “Those are really homeless families because you can’t describe as homes the supposedly temporary shelters put in place 20 years ago,” says the paper, adding that their residents are more desperate than ever before. “But who cares about that? The former authorities who never rebuilt the disaster zone are now shamelessly craving for power. The current authorities, for their part, … crave for the same power through their friendly-brotherly networks without being ashamed of their unfinished business.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” rounds on President Robert Kocharian for his fresh verbal attacks on former President Levon Ter-Petrosian made in a newspaper interview published on Thursday. “It is very symbolic that on the eve of the 19th anniversary of the earthquake the head of state spoke not about the devastating quake and irreversible losses, pain and suffering inflicted by it or human compassion or mercy but poured abuse on a government and people who had carried the burden of the earthquake on their shoulders,” writes the paper.
“Aravot” comments on Kocharian’s remark that at least half of the members of Ter-Petrosian’s HHSh party should have been put in jail for “large-scale embezzlements.” “So the president of the country knows about serious crimes committed by half of the HHSh figures but does not inform law-enforcement bodies about that,” the paper says in a sarcastic editorial. “One is left to ask the honorable Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian to immediately open a criminal case against the [HHSh] half guilty of large-scale embezzlement as well as those who cover up their crimes.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” claims Kocharian’s decision to purchase a new personal aircraft testifies to his unwillingness to lose power. “The plane is becoming a symbol of that [unwillingness] and maybe Robert Kocharian intends to very actively use the jet meeting European standards for various trips abroad during these three months [remaining before the presidential election,]” editorializes the paper. It notes that Kocharian now takes every opportunity to make public appearances and political statements. “The impression is that he is conducting his own election campaign. And although the post of prime minister is not elected, one can suppose that he plans to take up that post after the presidential elections.”