“Zhamanak” downplays the arrest of the chief of the Armenian road police, Colonel Margar Ohanian, saying that it is not a sign of a real government fight against corruption in the police and other state bodies. The pro-opposition paper claims that Ohanian’s prosecution is “yet another show” aimed at misleading the public. “If they arrest only selected crooks, then that means they are seeking to give the public the impression of a fight for justice,” it says. “In reality, they are trying to cover up the sins of an unjust and illegitimate system.”
“Yerkir” disputes President Serzh Sarkisian’s claim that Armenia’s international standing has improved because its government’s positions on major issues are in tune with those of the international community. “Naïve people thought that the main criterion for the effectiveness of diplomacy is the extent to which a particular state is able to make the international community’s opinion more receptive to its own national, state interests and positions,” the paper writes with sarcasm.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Davit Harutiunian, head a negotiating team representing Armenia’s ruling coalition insists that there are no political motives behind arrest and prosecution of opposition activist Tigran Arakelian. Harutiunian expresses hope that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will resume talks with the coalition which it suspended because of the controversial case. Asked whether he thinks the HAK will do that, he says, “The answers to this and many other issues preoccupying our people must be given by the HAK itself.”
“Hraparak” quotes Felix Khachatrian, one of the HAK negotiators, as reiterating HAK claims that Harutiunian promised to ensure Arakelian’s release during the last round of negotiations. Khachatrian says the onus is therefore on the Armenian authorities to kick-start the dialogue. “Negotiations would resume the day after they free Tigran Arakelian,” he says. “But that could happen only before September 9. There will be a rally on that day … We are ready for everything: both to engage in dialogue and get the society to rise up.”
“I don’t think that dialogue could have brought the Armenian society … any benefits,” Karapet Rubinian, a former prominent member of the HAK, tells “Aravot.” “That is why I didn’t take much interest in the course of the dialogue.” Rubinian predicts that the HAK and the government “will find some ways of resuming” the process. He says both sides mislead the public when they say that the dialogue could result in Serzh Sarkisian’s sudden resignation or other major changes in the country.