“Zhoghovurd” comments on the decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to order Armenia to pay $1.8 million to Yuri Vartanian, a Yerevan resident whose house and land were confiscated in 2005 as part of controversial redevelopment projects overseen by then President Robert Kocharian. The paper says the ruling is “exceptional” not least because the sum exceeds the total amount of all other compensations paid by the Armenian authorities in line with similar ECHR judgments. “And secondly, the ECHR verdict names a concrete judge: Arman Mkrtumian, the former chairman of the Court of Cassation,” it says.
“Ask the second president [Kocharian] and his courtiers about what they think of the construction of [Yerevan’s] Northern Avenue,” “Aravot” writes on the same subject. “They will speak of that process with pride: jobs, a construction boom, full refrigerators and so on. None of them will say that as a consequence of the construction of that avenue, dozens of residents of central Yerevan were left homeless. None of them will feel responsible for the fact that the ECHR has ordered the government to pay 1.6 million euros to a citizen who had been dispossessed as a result of their actions.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the key actors in political processes taking place in Armenia are not politicians but mass media. The paper says another specificity of the Armenian political scene is that parties are first and foremost trying to undercut their rivals, rather than boost their own approval ratings, through media outlets controlled by them. It says that in many countries the parties also give voters concrete promises and come up with programs of fulfilling them. It says the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia does not do this because it realizes that it stands no chance of winning over most Armenians with a constructive agenda.