“Zhamanak” claims that the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement poses “quite visible and clear dangers in terms of Armenia’s strategic interests and capabilities.” “But the thing is that that process itself is the result of the internal political situation that exists in the Republic of Armenia,” says the pro-opposition paper. It says the authorities are using the rapprochement to cover up their “unconstitutional” actions.
“A new type of individuals has been bred in Armenia in the last ten years,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Those individuals are ready to beat up and bully people on their masters’ orders, especially during elections. Some call them ‘shaven heads,’ ‘thick necks,’ others ‘bodyguards.’ Sometimes they are also called ‘criminal elements,’ ‘good fellows’ or simply ‘neighborhood guys.’ But their most correct name is probably Janissaries.” The paper notes that some of these men presented themselves as observers from an obscure group called the Free Society Institute during Sunday’s parliamentary election in Yerevan. “This is what they call black humor,” it concludes.
Lragir.am denounces the Armenian National Congress’s perceived soft reaction to what it calls a blatantly rigged vote and makes the case for the emergence of a “new opposition force.” “It is evident that as a result of its tactical shortcomings or mistakes, the current opposition has lost much of public trust,” claims the online journal. It says the main reason for that is that “the opposition’s vocabulary has increasingly resembled the government discourse” and mainly focused on foreign policy and geopolitical issues over the past year.
Naira Zohrabian, a senior member of the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that 2010 will be “a much calmer year” in Armenia’s political life. “At least, I don’t see prerequisites for political cataclysms, Armageddons,” she says. “After all, 2010 is not a pre-election year.”
“Kapital” reports that despite having an elected mayor and the status of a single community Yerevan and its municipal administration remain financially dependent on the central government. The paper finds this situation shocking, arguing that the Armenian capital accounts for at least half of economic activity in the country. “Despite its relative wealth, Yerevan will finance this year only one quarter of its expenditures from its own revenues,” it says.