Sociologist Aharon Adibekian believes that the situation in Armenia is “fairly stable” at present. “Of course, there may be discontent, but there is no decline. The Gross Domestic Product tends to grow slowly but steadily, a lot of money is coming from abroad,” he tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “And if wee take a closer look, a certain level has been achieved.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” expects a deterioration of relations between two allied opposition parties: the People’s Party (HZhK) and National Unity. The latter claims that some 2,500 people have defected from the HZhK to National Unity over the past year. “Thus, National Unity is trying to demonstrate its supremacy in the opposition field…People have reason to quit the HZhK. That is first of all the result of Stepan Demirchian’s unclear political behavior.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that National Unity leader Artashes Geghamian and Ara Sahakian, a close associate of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, are having “intensive contacts” lately.
“Iravunk” says the authorities are “taking tough steps on all directions” with a view towards next year’s elections. The state bureaucracy is under growing pressure to assist in Robert Kocharian’s bid for reelection. In addition, the authorities will increasingly demand “proof of an unconditional pro-government stance” from the business community.
“Iravunk” also claims that Kocharian’s administration has decided to close the independent A1 Plus channel. The move, it says, would “push back development of television in Armenia.”
“Aravot” editorializes that Mushegh Saghatelian, the former prison chief tried for mistreating detainees, would have kept his job had he continued “to quietly serve the authorities.” Saghatelian would have been promoted to the rank of general and been in Serzh Sarkisian’s entourage. “Yes, Saghatelian is punished for publicly suspecting the country’s leaders [of masterminding the parliament killings], but that doesn’t mean that he must not be punished at all,” the paper says. “If Saghatelian did beat up citizens, then he must be brought to account for his deeds, regardless of whom he is suspecting today.” “Aravot” hopes that a similar fate awaits Aghamal “Kuku” Harutiunian and other presidential bodyguards blamed for the September café murder in Yerevan.
“Aravot” continues to assert that Kocharian intends to force A1 Plus television off the air. The paper believes that the move will be counterproductive as it will only add to public discontent with Kocharian’s regime.