(Saturday, August 25)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian police have done everything to save businessman Ruben Hayrapetian from prosecution in their criminal investigation into the June 17 deadly incident at the Harsnakar restaurant owned by him. “If Hayrapetian really did not order the beatings of military doctors at Harsnakar, then both he and the investigating body should have approved all petitions [lodged by lawyers representing Vahe Avetian’s family] and verified facts noted by them without any problem,” comments the paper. “They would have proved that Hayrapetian did not give such orders.” It also claims that Hayrapetian will soon withdraw his resignation from the Armenian parliament.
Ruben Hakobian, the parliamentary leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Aravot” that Armenia’s main opposition forces are unlikely to unite and field a joint candidate for next year’s presidential election. “Given the existing political realities, the opposition should now set itself the task of keeping the entire opposition electorate in its hands,” he says. “At the moment this is probably the most important issue. If several candidates are needed for keeping control over the opposition electorate, then we should do that.” This would be a smarter solution than the formation of “artificial” opposition alliances, says Hakobian.
“Zhamanak” says that unlike many countries of the world Armenia lacks “sacred rules of the political system” that compel politicians to subordinate their personal well-being to public interests. “In Armenia, politics is a fight without rules,” says the paper. “It’s a fight against the society, rather than among [politicians.] This is the kind of a situation we are witnessing today, which is exposing the whole emptiness and depletion of the political system. One can only hope that instead of just being disappointed with that, the society draws necessary conclusions.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” novelist Hovannes Yeranian adds his voice to growing criticism of Armenia’s hugely popular TV soap operas expressed by intellectuals. “They say that [the TV series show] bloodshed, violence, rape, but for me the biggest tragedy is not even the [characters’] slang but the fact that the TV series’ vocabulary consists of only 25-50 words,” he says. “And this means a terrible impoverishment of the language. The generation watching soap operas writes school essays with that vocabulary.”