“Zhamanak” says many in Armenia are now waiting to see how former President Robert Kocharian will defend his allies and former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian in particular against government harassment. The paper says Kocharian will now have to stand up against a government system which he himself helped to create while in power.
“Oskanian is a member of the BHK [parliamentary] faction and enjoys parliamentary immunity [from prosecution,]” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Arresting and indicting him requires the National Assembly’s consent. This can be done very quickly because the National Assembly majority, which includes many of the BHK deputies, has ample experience in handing over deputies.” The pro-opposition daily points out that the parliament allowed the arrest and prosecution of opposition deputies as recently as four years ago, when Oskanian was still foreign minister. “And if Oskanian is not arrested and kept in jail for at least half a year this affair will become a propaganda stunt organized by the authorities,” it says.
“One gets the impression that we are in a state of permanent elections,” writes “Hraparak.” “The parliamentary elections are over, but local elections are getting underway. We will enter the presidential election period after the local elections. And since in our country elections and an earthquake or flooding are almost the same thing the whole nation is in a continuous stress.”
“Yerkir” comments on the appointment of a new rector of the Armenian State Linguistic University. It was unanimously endorsed by the university’s supervisory board. The paper notes that none of its members thus voiced support for Suren Zolian, the previous rector who was controversially sacked by Education Minister Armen Ashotian. “It’s not a matter of individuals,” it says. “Even if Suren Zolian was such a dictator that lecturers now feel liberated, then their remaining meek and obedient and lacking the courage to oppose him during his tenure is even more reprehensible.”