Interviewed by “Zhamanak,” Zhirayr Sefilian, a prominent war veteran and government critic, backs opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s recent remark that Armenia’s next national elections must be held “beyond the triangle” of Serzh Sarkisian, Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian. “I don’t think that Ter-Petrosian is now a [presidential] candidate,” says Sefilian. He claims that Ter-Petrosian returned to politics in 2007 to “get rid of this system,” rather than to regain power. “Although that attempt failed … we still have something to accomplish in the future,” he says, adding that Armenia needs “new figures.”
“Aravot” sees “two equally unacceptable extremes” in public reactions to the latest non-combat deaths in the Armenian army. The paper refers to those who say nothing extraordinary happened and those for whom the shootings are a “good occasion” to demand regime change. “Those incidents are certainly not ordinary and minor ones,” it says in an editorial. “And those who want to paper over these cases and hide reality for patriotic motives are themselves the number one enemies of our state and army.”
Speaking to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Ruben Hakhverdian, a renowned Armenian bard, confirms reports that Turkish music companies would like to buy copyrights to his songs and distribute them in Turkey. “If the Turks can properly present my songs, why not?” he says. “Let them take them.” Hakhverdian, who was until recently known as a supporter of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), also confirms telling a Turkish newspaper that “nationalism is a wrong thing” and that some Armenian folk-pop singers “steal Turkish songs.” “Only a person who is far from truth can be offended by what I say,” adds the outspoken musician.
“Kapital” reports that the Aleks-Grig company owned by “oligarch” Samvel Aleksanian is continuing to illegally use Russian and Ukraine vodka brands for its own alcohol production and sales. The business daily says Aleks-Grig simply is simply taking advantage of Armenia’s seriously flawed anti-trust legislation which sets a meager 500,000 dram ($1,370) fine for every instance of copyright infringement.