“Zhoghovurd” says the opposition Yerkir Tsirani party’s decision to take up its five seats in Yerevan’s newly elected municipal council means that its sessions are promising to be dramatic and heated. The paper says that Yerkir Tsirani leader Zaruhi Postanjian’s presence in the council may have a “somewhat positive impact” on the work of the legislature and make life harder for Mayor Taron Markarian and his aides. But, it says, the party’s decision not to boycott the council is not consistent with its tough anti-government stance.
“Zhamanak” is highly skeptical about a new anti-corruption body that will be set up soon by the Armenian government. The paper predicts that the authorities will use the body to get rid of “undesirable” officials that will fall from their grace. “In other words, what is being created in Armenia is not a truly independent anti-corruption body … but an institution of, so to speak, intra-governmental inquisition,” it claims. “The authorities will thus solve two issues. On one hand, the new structure will enable them to elevate their anti-corruption dialogue with international bodies to a new level … On the other hand, the intra-governmental inquisition will allow them to make the [government] system more manageable in the current period of transition.”
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Vadim Dubnov, a Russian political analyst, plays down the significance of a recent statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs that essentially held Azerbaijan responsible for the latest escalation of tensions in the Karabakh conflict zone. Dubnov argues that just a few months ago the Russian, U.S. and French co-chairs issued another statement that was more favorable to Azerbaijan. “I think that in or two or two weeks it will be forgotten in both Baku and Yerevan,” he says. Dubnov also believes that the Azerbaijani leadership is presently “not quite interested in a de-escalation of the conflict.” “And I am not fully convinced that Yerevan is interested in that,” he adds.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the Karabakh Armenian military’s decision to issue statements on truce violations on a weekly, rather than daily, basis from now on. General Movses Hakobian, the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff, is quoted as defending the decision on security grounds. The paper dismisses this speculation, saying that daily reports on the situation along the Karabakh “line of contact” would not reveal any military secrets to Baku.