(Saturday, May 24)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that U.S. President George W. Bush has still not congratulated Serzh Sarkisian on his controversial victory in Armenia’s presidential election. “On this issue, Serzh Sarkisian has surpassed his predecessor Robert Kocharian,” the opposition paper comments tartly. “Because the latter did receive something like a congratulation from the U.S. president after getting elected and reelecting as president. True, it was not really a congratulation, it was belated and it came in connection with his inauguration.”
“With an imitation of struggle Levon Ter-Petrosian sought not a real regime change but a return to politics through the opposition camp,” Arshak Sadoyan, a veteran opposition politician, is quoted by “168 Zham” as saying. Sadoyan claims that Ter-Petrosian and his associates thereby wanted to “cleanse themselves of the past dirt.” “That political team successfully accomplished that objective, even through the consequences -- the events of March 1 -- were unpredictable even for them,” he says. The paper also reports that Sadoyan will ask the presidential administration to include him in the presidential “public council” to be formed soon.
“The authorities have still not taken any serious step to solve the tragedy of March 1,” writes “Hayk.” “Also, arbitrary arrests, invitations to police stations without summonses are continuing.” The paper says only a handful of opposition members have been released from jail so far despite the authorities’ pledge to comply with a resolution adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. And even they have not been cleared of “fabricated charges.” “It is crystal clear that on this issue too the authorities are simply misleading the international community,” concludes “Hayk.”
“Aravot” says that the photographs of fugitive opposition deputy Khachatur Sukiasian and “Haykakan Zhamanak” editor Nikol Pashinian can now be seen among those of wanted criminals posted by the police in the Yerevan metro. “That is an obvious buffoonery,” editorializes the paper. “Such pictures make sense only in cases where people unknown to the public are on the wanted list and citizens are to recognize persons on the run with the help of such pictures. In this case there is no such problem. Of course, our police realize that. It’s just that the authorities are aiming to propagate against those [opposition] figures and to humiliate them in this way as well.”