(Saturday, February 7)
“168 Zham” reports that parliament speaker Galust Sahakian on Friday sparked a war words with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) with claims that the speech delivered by Gagik Tsarukian at an opposition gathering on Thursday was not written by the BHK leader. Sahakian also said that Tsarukian had trouble reading it. “It lacked a logical structure and had glaring contradictions,” added the senior member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper says the allegations are “amusing” given the fact that Sahakian himself has long been the “undisputed leader of incomprehensible phrases uttered in the Armenian political arena.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” suggests that with their claims that Valery Permyakov, the main suspect in the January 12 massacre of an Armenian family in Gyumri, may be suffering from mental disorders the Russian authorities are trying to gauge public mood in Armenia. “It is evident that after the mini-uprising near the Russian consulate in Gyumri the Russian side is treating this subject with caution,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, as time goes by, there is a growing sense that this case will be added to a number of high-profile crimes in Armenia. That is, it will not be solved.” It says that the theory about Permyakov’s insanity may be the most convenient way of covering up the killings but it is already evident that nobody in Armenia will buy into it “Portraying Permyakov as a madman is a very primitive tactic indeed,” concludes the paper.
“Aravot” says that the Founding Parliament, a small Armenian opposition group, is wrong to seek to topple the government on the April 24 centenary of the Armenian genocide. The paper argues that until now Armenian opposition forces have never used the genocide commemorations for domestic political purposes. It says the Founding Parliament’s main “methodological mistake” is that it is “refusing to act as a political party” while voicing purely political demands. “Such a dichotomy inevitably leads to mistakes,” it says.
“Zhamanak” criticizes Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian for telling his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow that he believes Armenia will draw significant economic benefits from its membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper says the Armenian government should stop pinning hopes on Russia’s “sinking economy” and use instead “internal reserves” to address Armenia’s socioeconomic problems. It argues that Russia itself is now in need of large-scale investments and is not in a possible to create jobs in Armenia.