“Irates de facto” says the upcoming parliamentary debates on the new government’s program will be a litmus test for the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and its claims about being an “alternative and constructive force.” The paper predicts that the BHK’s parliamentary faction will not vote for the program. “We think that the BHK will subject that program to quite tough criticism, even though that criticism will not be able to compete with [opposition leader] Hrant Bagratian’s thoughts,” it says.
Aram Karapetian, the leader of the opposition Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party, tells “Zhoghovurd” that the new government is hardly different from the previous one because “changing nothing is Serzh Sarkisian’s work style.” “Developments around the world are so dramatic, old faces are replaced by new ones at such a pace that the current situation in Armenia is nonsense,” Karapetian says. “They must finally understand that making changes with old figures is impossible,” he adds. “That is simply cheating. Everyone today understands that Armenia needs revolutionary changes.”
“Yerkir” carries an editorial on the brutal beating on Sunday of two military doctors by security guards at a Yerevan restaurant belonging to Ruben Hayrapetian, an influential businessman and parliament deputy affiliated with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper says that Hayrapetian’s bodyguards acted with impunity the day after Yerevan’s former Mayor Gagik Beglarian, who was forced to resign in 2010 after an assault, was appointed as minister of transport and communications. It says they will also be safe in the knowledge that other senior officials also notorious for violent conduct have kept their jobs and remain close to President Serzh Sarkisian.
“Zhamanak” reports on the launch of an Internet campaign in support of Vano Siradeghian, a controversial former interior minister who fled Armenia more than a decade ago to avoid prosecution on murder charges. “The authors of the initiative are stressing that ‘Vano Siradeghian is the best novelist of our time,’ thereby emphasizing the apolitical nature of the initiative,” comments the paper. “But in one way or another and regardless of everything, it is clear that even the most apolitical initiative will be very quickly politicized in this extremely politicized time and that has already happened in the case of the initiative in support of Vano Siradeghian.”