In an interview with “Aravot,” deputy parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan criticizes the agenda of the ongoing negotiations between the government and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), which includes the HAK demand for early national elections. “That agenda is putting us on a path that leads nowhere,” he says.
“If pre-term elections solved problems facing our people, then we could hold such elections once in six months and all the problems would be gone,” says Nikoyan. “There are problems that have to be solved. And we are proposing cooperation between the authorities and the opposition for that purpose.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenian police officers have begun playing themselves in television soap operas and puts their photographs of some of them on its front page. “Interestingly, the emerging TV stars are those police officers whose false testimony formed the basis of court verdicts against Armenian National Congress activists or those police officers who have been particularly active in using force against opposition youths,” says the paper. It quotes a police spokesman as saying that the police have formed a “special group” that provides police actors and equipment to producers of television series.
“Hraparak” wonders why the criminal case against several HAK activists arrested last week is handled by the police, rather than the Special Investigative Service (SIS). The paper argues that it is the SIS that usually deals with violent incidents involving police officers. It speculates that state prosecutors, who control the SIS, are keen to discredit the police and at the same time “punish the HAK youth with policemen’s hands.” “They in the police are unhappy with this decision but they have no choice but to comply,” conclude “Hraparak.”
Khachik Manukian, a businessman holding a parliament seat, assures that “Zhoghovurd” neither he nor other wealthy deputies violate Armenian law, contrary to allegations made by the HAK. Manukian also says that he would like to again run for the National Assembly in the next elections. “But I am a member of the [ruling Republican] party and the party’s council will have the final say,” he adds.