“Haykakan Zhamanak” hits out at Armenia’s former leaders and their allies accusing the current authorities of failing to address Armenia’s problems and using former President Serzh Sarkisian as a scapegoat. “It is evident that the root causes of all existing serious problems lie in the past,” writes the pro-government paper. It says that it was the Sarkisian administration that allowed a Western company to develop the Amulsar gold deposit, “drove Karabakh out of the negotiation process” and failed to counter Azerbaijan’s military buildup. “In this situation, the government has to not only solve the problems but also overcome the resistance of the entrenched [state] system,” it says.
“But one gets the impression that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian is doing that single-handedly or with the help of a handful of ministers and parliament deputies and that others are waiting on the sidelines to see how all this ends,” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Solutions to these problems require not only teamwork but also a full mutual understanding between the [ruling] team and the public. The establishment of that mutual understanding is incumbent on not only Nikol Pashinian. This applies to everyone: both the authorities and the opposition. In a critical situation one cannot step aside, place the entire responsibility on one man and then complain that he governs the country on his own.”
Citing comments made this week by a senior official from the Investigative Committee, “Zhamanak” suggests that the authorities have made a “political decision” to allow the Lydian International company to restart the Amulsar project. “Apparently the authorities just need some time to ensure proper conditions for the exploitation of the mine,” speculates the paper. It says the protesters blocking Lydian’s access to Amulsar remain unwilling to lift the blockade, thereby creating an “impasse” for the authorities. A use of force against them would reflect negatively on Pashinian’s popularity, it claims, adding that the prime minister risks meeting the fate of other post-Soviet revolutionary leaders whose tenures proved a “political fiasco.”
“Zhoghovurd” describes as “overdue” the arrest of former Finance Minister Gagik Khachatrian, arguing that law-enforcement authorities began investigating him immediately after last year’s “Velvet Revolution.” State prosecutors said as recently as in March that Khachatrian is not under investigation. “But it turns out now that not only a criminal case was opened but that Khachatrian compensated the state for the damage [caused by him] and yet Prosecutor-General Artur Davtian was not aware of that,” says the paper.