“Aravot” announces “the annual failure” of the Armenian opposition to make significant gains in its standoff with Robert Kocharian. The paper says the impeachment initiative of the three largest opposition parties can already be considered failed because it has been backed by only a dozen members of the parliament. The paper says the main reasons for the opposition parties’ weakness are their lack of political experience, periodical squabbles and “the extreme stupidity and cowardice of [many] deputies.” But most importantly, the Armenian public lacks “the resolve to get rid of the existing authorities.” The inept opposition has not explained to the people why the change of leadership would make sense.
As for Kocharian, “Aravot” says his main power base is the country’s “nomentlatura elite.” The latter ensures the regime’s control of power levers and substantial material resources that are contributed by private businesses operating under the government’s tutelage. Kocharian’s “pocket parties” are of secondary importance. But the paper thinks that the absence of a serious opposition threat is fraught with dangers for Kocharian as his loyalists become more prone to bickering. “So the main developments still lie ahead,” the paper concludes.
“Yerkir” sees the roots of the opposition troika’s failings in its disregard of external forces. Some major world power are not interested in a change of Armenian foreign policy and would like the current regime to stay in power. The authorities have in the meantime propped up their position in the international arena.
“Iravunk” says Kocharian has stepped up the work of his “propaganda machine” lately because he expects a “quite serious competition” in the tussle for power. And it is not the opposition that he is worried about. The paper hints at the powerful Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and his Russian connections.
“Iravunk’s” consistent criticism of the authorities draws an angry reaction from “Hayots Ashkhar.” The paper is particularly outraged by a recent “Iravunk” report suggesting that “Hayots Ashkhar” and “Golos Armenii” are financed by Serzh Sarkisian. “Hayots Ashkhar” also lashes out at “Aravot” for claiming that the pro-presidential daily can not sell even half of its 3,000 copies per issue.