(Saturday, May 27)
“Hraparak” claims that Armenia’s ruling elite is now busy distributing government and parliament posts, instead of thinking about “the country’s future.” “If the authorities spend a whole year [remaining until the end of Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency] engaging in intrigues and ensuring their place in the government pyramid we may have neither a country nor a government in one year from now,” it says. “This stale atmosphere of political short-sightedness and placing parochial interests above national interests must be changed. And it is Serzh Sarkisian who must do that.”
Lragir.am reacts to Sarkisian’s unexpected visit to the Armenian Defense Ministry and meeting with its top officials. “What is going on within the army?” asks the online publication. “Serzh Sarkisian is restructuring the army. He first fired the top brass: the defense minister [Seyran Ohanian,] his first deputy and the chief of the army staff. Right now a change of mid-level commanders is effectively underway. These changes are attributed to Serzh Sarkisian’s internal political plans, with the president forming state bodies, including the military, utterly loyal to him.”
“Zhamanak” reports that military authorities have forced the teenage son of Shant Harutiunian, a jailed fringe opposition figure, to undergo a psychiatric examination. The paper accuses them of trying to “break” Shahen Harutiunian ahead of his compulsory military service. It alleges that this is part of a government plan to “restore old Soviet traditions” of using psychiatric care against dissidents and political opponents.