“When the Turkish-Armenian protocols were signed, we all were worried that the cunning Turks will now declare everywhere that they have reached agreement with the Armenians and that foreign parliaments adopting Armenian genocide resolutions would impede the rapprochement process,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial on the French bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide. “The bill passed by France’s National Assembly yesterday refuted that logic.”
The paper dismisses as unconvincing the Turkish arguments that “history should be left to historians” and that criminalizing genocide denial threatens freedom of speech. “If we are talking about relations between Armenia and Turkey, then the existing problems are primarily political ones and should not be left to historians,” it says. “Those issues need to be tackled by politicians and state officials … It is a bit pathetic that Turkey is teaching France lessons of free speech while keeping a clause about insulting ‘Turkishness’ in its Criminal Code.”
“Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian criticized the course of judicial reforms in Armenia at a meeting with top state officials on Thursday. “Who is he blaming for that? The target of Serzh Sarkisian’s discontent is not specified. He complains about the system. But in fact he has given de facto support, on different occasions, to the de jure objects of that discontent.” Sarkisian’s criticism should therefore not be taken seriously, says the paper.
“Yerkir” also scoffs at Sarkisian’s remarks, saying that they mean that relevant state officials have sabotaged reforms ordered by the president but somehow managed to retain their jobs. “This raises the question of whether these officials, rather than the president, are responsible for the lack of progress,” says the paper. “In any normal country there would be a spate of resignations before or after such a statement.”
“There are no insurmountable differences within the [ruling] coalition,” deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov tells “Irates de facto.” “Today the coalition is implementing the president’s pre-election program. One of the important events of 2011 was the statement in which the three coalition forces affirmed that they … will nominate and support Serzh Sarkisian’s candidacy in the presidential elections of 2013.” Sharmazanov says the coalition parties may only disagree on the passage of some laws and that is “natural.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” suggests that Levon Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian National Congress (HAK) may have never really sought early national elections and have used their public rhetoric only to keep the HAK’s hardcore supporters galvanized. “Of course, the HAK is not averse to exacting revenge, with or without upheavals, and bringing Ter-Petrosian back to power,” says the paper. “But they themselves have realized that they have no such ability now or in the foreseeable future.”