"Haykakan Zhamanak" says the state broadcasting commission's arguments for the closure of the A1+ channel "remain absurd" and sees a "panic in the government ranks."
"Hayastani Hanrapetutyun," however, berates opposition forces that have launched an offensive against the government following A1+'s closure.
"Hayots Ashkhar," which also supports Robert Kocharian, believes that Armenians "will sooner or later conclude that freedom of speech is the most harmful of all freedoms." That will be the result of what the paper views as opposition hysteria over A1+. The paper's controversial editor, Gagik Mkrtchian, acknowledges that he was the initiator of a statement by 17 pro-presidential media outlets. The statement downplayed A1+'s closure and claimed that the authorities do respect press freedom. Mkrtchian lashes out at those media editors who denounced the statement.
"Yerkir," which did not sign the statement, writes that it does not believe in the "sincerity" of those former government officials who had shut down newspapers while in power but are now ringing alarm bells over the closure of A1+.
"Zhamanak," the weekly newspaper of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian's Republican Party (HHK), lambastes the opposition for "exploiting" the A1+ scandal. The paper notes that A1+ aired criticism of "patriotic and nationalist intelligentsia" and interviews with individuals who "insidiously deny historical progress and victories of our people" and "hate the idea of fatherland." The paper then goes on to attack former president Levon Ter-Petrosian (whom the HHK used to support in the 1990s). "We are deeply conscious of the fact that Ter-Petrosian, with his mindset, is incompatible with the moralistic perceptions of our nation. We are also convinced that by reelecting Levon Ter-Petrosian as president the Armenian people would seal the demise of the Republic of Armenia."
"Iravunk" sees "persistent attempts" to divide the Armenian political elite between supporters of Kocharian and Ter-Petrosian. The paper says both the authorities and Ter-Petrosian's are behind those attempts. Kocharian, it says, will have no trouble winning another term in office if he succeeds in portraying Ter-Petrosian as his main rival.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" comments that with every "step aimed at establishing a dictatorship" Kocharian's regime only precipitates its eventual downfall. "The patience of the West is not without limits, and it can not endlessly waste resources and time to democratize a country which is becoming increasingly autocratic."