Reporting on the scandal within the opposition “Zharangutyun” party, “Azg” backs allegations that some of its leaders rigged the 2008 election of the party’s governing board and illegally altered the list of its candidates in the May 2007 parliamentary elections. It also says that three senior members of the Zharangutyun have been expelled from the party illegally. “In effect, a party, whose representatives have always been extremely sensitive to electoral fraud, pre-election and post-election irregularities and fought for justice in parliament, electoral commissions and elsewhere, campaigned against violations of human rights and democratic values, committed the same malevolent violations inside the party,” says the paper.
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” another prominent Zharangutyun member, Zaruhi Postanjian, lodged last year a written complaint about the alleged rigging of the board election and implicated the new board chairman, Armen Martirosian, in the fraud. The paper says that Postanjian is not in Armenia at the moment and could not be reached for comment on Thursday. “I have no problem with that, you can publish it,” Martirosian is quoted as commenting on the complaint. “When Zaruhi returns she herself will talk about that.”
Interviewed by “Iravunk,” Vahan Hovannisian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), welcomes the Zharangutyun expulsions as a sign of the party’s growing “maturity” which he says will prevent it from becoming “Levon Ter-Petrosian’s satellite.” “We must work with the current authorities,” continues Hovannisian. “Only in case of a complete failure [of their policies] could we move on to the next phase.” Dashnaktsutyun will not exploit the controversial Turkish-Armenian agreements to try to return to power, he says.
Lragir.am says that the turmoil in Zharangutyun has made the formation of a new opposition grouping comprising Zharangutyun, Dashnaktsutyun and Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) even more likely. “The fact is that none of the three forces has displayed a sincere desire for cooperation,” comments the online journal.
Writing in “Zhamanak,” HAK representative Vladimir Karapetian attacks a special parliamentary commission investigating the March 2008 clashes in Yerevan for its failure to shed more light on the circumstances in which ten people were killed in the violence. “Without solving every death case, the problem of March 1 will not be eliminated,” Karapetian says, adding that the commission’s report expected later this month is therefore “not worth a penny.”