“Haykakan Zhamanak” rounds on Mikael Minasian, former President Serzh Sarkisian’s once influential son-in-law who strongly criticized Armenia’s current government in a video message circulated last week. “His main message was that what happened in Armenia was not a revolution but a meaningless change [of government,] that the new authorities are a continuation of the old ones and have changed nothing, and that the country is headed to an inevitable disaster,” writes the pro-government paper. By this logic, it says tartly, Sarkisian’s regime was also steering Armenia to a disaster. “Mikael Minasian is right on one issue: there can be no return to the old [times,]” concludes the paper. “And this also applies to those whose main merit is, so to speak, friendly ties with the past.”
“Aravot” hopes that there will be no pre-term general elections in Armenia. “But if fresh elections are held after all, one of the two scenarios will probably be at play,” writes the paper. “Either disagreements within the ruling team will reach a point where the prime minister [Nikol Pashinian] will decide to once again seek citizens’ vote of confidence or there will be another coup by security agencies and the military behind which will be Robert Kocharian. The latter scenario worked in 1998. The authorities must forestall this variant in the most resolute way. Ordinary citizens must also say no to it. Fortunately, the likelihood of that ‘no’ is now higher because by 1998 most citizens already disliked, to put it mildly, the head of state [Levon Ter-Petrosian.]” The paper says that Kocharian has again become a “political factor” because of mistakes made by the current authorities. Still, it defends the authorities, saying that they are up against a “group of people not indifferent to blood.”
“Clearly, our law-enforcement system has problems with Russian law-enforcement structures, and as a result of a lack of cooperation [between them] we have privileged criminal suspects,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” The paper argues that Russia has refused to extradite former Armenian Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian and the former head of Armenia’s Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts, Mihran Poghosian. It claims that Russian law-enforcement officials could have acted differently had their Armenian colleagues presented them with “irrefutable” evidence in support of the accusations brought against Harutiunian and Poghosian.