YPC Weekly Newsletter

2006


“NEW TIMES” DEMAND AIRTIME, “ORINATS YERKIR” – TO FIND THE “BLACK PR” CLIENTS

Recently the Armenian media published and commented on the statements of “New
Times” and “Orinats Yerkir” parties that the authorities block them from getting
TV air or use television to degrade their activities.

On November 7 the Board of “New Times” party addressed a letter to the diplomatic
missions accredited in Armenia. The letter said in particular that “the Chairman
of the party Aram Karapetian for a year and a half has been deprived of a chance
to hold civilized political debate on major issues faced by the country on live
air”. It was stressed at the same time that Aram Karapetian “is ready to pay
for his appearance on air within reason”. In the opinion of the “New Times”
Board, the order of the communication blockade of the party and its leader was
given by the Director of the RA National Security Service Gorik Hakobian and
the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian, and its implementation – upon the
order of the RA Robert Kocharian – is controlled by the head of the President’s
Office Armen Gevorgian. The party also recalled that its leader was the fourth
by the number of votes gained at presidential elections in 2003.

On November 10 “Armenpress” news agency released the comment of the RA President’s
Press Secretary Viktor Soghomonian: “Apparently by statements of this kind that
have nothing to do with reality Mr. Karapetian seeks to remind us about himself.
In fact, the activities of Aram Karapetian are of no interest to us and will
hardly be of any interest in future.”

Earlier, on November 6 “Orinats Yerkir” party addressed the RA General Prosecutor’s
Office with a demand to find and hold to account the orderers of the TV pieces,
degrading the party and its leader, the former Speaker of the RA National Assembly
Artur Baghdasarian. This was announced on November 7 at a press-conference of
the Vice-Chairman of the party Mher Shahgeldian and the Secretary of “Orinats
Yerkir” parliament faction Heghine Bisharian. In their opinion, the client of
the “black PR” campaign against “Orinats Yerkir” is the Republican Party of
Armenia (RPA) with its leaders, the RA Prime Minister Andranik Margarian and
the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian.

In his interview to “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun” daily (November 8, 2006) the
Speaker of the RA National Assembly, RPA Vice-Chairman Tigran Torosian noted
that a response to this statement of “Orinats Yerkir” should be given by law
enforcement bodies. In the next issue (November 9, 2006) “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun”
published interview with the RA General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian that thinks
the statements of “New Times” and “Orinats Yerkir” to be political in essence:
“Recently attempts are made to transform the Prosecutor’s Office into a place
where statements of politicians are checked or to involve the Prosecutor’s Office
in political debate.” Aghvan Hovsepian also added that the Prosecutor’s Office
does not engage in interparty relations and he is not going to respond to such
statements.