The controversial disclosure of a secretly recorded conversation between opposition leader Levon Zurabian and former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian is a key theme of Tuesday’s Armenian press commentary.
“Aravot” says it will not discuss the content of that conversation for ethical reasons and is more interested in the very fact of the wiretapping as well as “why the authorities decided to publicize it.” “First of all, it again became obvious that political spying, which was the norm in the Soviet period, exists in our country,” it says in an editorial. “The Soviet Union lives on,” adds the paper.
“It appeared that Serzh Sarkisian and his entourage, who supposedly have no serious rivals, have nothing to worry about,” writes “Hraparak.” “There was supposed to be no need to use compromising information, discredit one or another politician or strive to cut their rivals’ approval ratings. But it turns out that they have spoiled the atmosphere so badly that no method is unacceptable anymore. Even the dirtiest and meanest methods.”
“Zhoghovurd” notes that political allies of both Zurabian and Oskanian are trying to “district the public’s attention from the content” of their talk by emphasizing that the wiretapping was illegal. “Of course, wiretapping anyone’s conversation without a court authorization is illegal,” says the paper. “But the thing is that in this case Vartan Oskanian and Levon Zurabian did not meet for personal purposes. The deputies were speaking of the political tactics of their parties. In that sense, it was probably worth letting the public know who its elected representatives are.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the wiretapped talk has shed more light on the disagreements within the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the opposition bloc’s relationship with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The pro-government paper also thinks that the most interesting of the revelations relate to the HAK’s possible presidential candidates.
“Zhamanak” is disappointed with President Serzh Sarkisian’s “inadequate” speech at the weekend conference of his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “This was certainly not Serzh Sarkisian’s first exaggerated speech during his presidency,” writes the paper. “Just because of that Serzh Sarkisian could have delivered a speech that would be even slightly closer to reality and talked about outstanding problems and unfulfilled points of his previous speeches. There too are many of them and they should have been at the heart of his latest speech because he is preparing for reelection. But Serzh Sarkisian once again preferred declarative actions … and preferred to gloss over fundamental problems facing the Armenian state and society.”