“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries a front-page picture of a group of men wearing black uniforms and carrying truncheons, saying that it was taken during the March 1 break-up of the opposition tent camp in Yerevan’s Liberty Square. The opposition daily presents the picture as proof of opposition allegations that the operation was led not by the police but some special security units and/or bodyguards working for government-linked wealthy persons.
“As the political subtext of the criminal case into the March 1 events and mistakes and illegalities committed by the investigating body are becoming more and more obvious, the law-enforcers are behaving in an increasingly self-confident and aggressive manner, instead of feeling guilty or at least keeping silent,” writes “Hraparak.” The paper reports that Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian expressed his discontent with U.S. criticism of the controversial criminal investigation at a meeting with Yerevan-based U.S. diplomats on Monday.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments sardonically on opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s speech at the last opposition rally in Yerevan. “An uninformed person would get the impression that the history of the Republic of Armenia began on March 1 and will end on the next March 1,” says the pro-government paper. “Therefore, in this madhouse of a country everyone is obliged to talk about March 1 all day long. And if someone refuses to do that, then you must definitely demand their resignation.”
In a separate commentary, “Hayots Ashkhar” accuses the opposition of giving foreign powers “leverage” against Armenia. “Acting against their own country, the Levonites have begun gradually placing themselves beyond the political field,” writes the paper. It calls for the formation of a new such field where both the government and opposition camps would consider Armenia a “sovereign state.”
“Hayk” denounces the weekend appointment of former opposition leader Shavarsh Kocharian as deputy foreign minister. “It means that [President] Sarkisian has entrusted one of our foreign policy areas to someone who has long deceived Armenian citizens by playing opposition and cooperating with the regime,” says the paper.
“At last [Shavarsh Kocharian’s] titanic work has been appreciated,” another pro-Ter-Petrosian publication, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” comments tartly. “Now he is a vice-minister who is supposed to explain to foreign diplomats how bad the opposition is and what a beacon of democracy Serzh Sarkisian is.”