“Aravot” again makes the point that “the regime of President Kocharian has overestimated the strength of its ‘we are not vulnerable’ slogan. The closure of the A1+ television company could prove fateful for the ruling regime. The public movement [in support of A1+] has rapidly transformed into a campaign to get rid of the ruling regime as soon as possible.” The paper says that contrary to many forecasts, more people took to the streets of Yerevan on Friday than during the previous such rally held late last month.
But according to “Golos Armenii,” the turnout was actually lower and the demonstration did not live up to the opposition’s hopes to mobilize a “revolutionary” movement against Kocharian.
Another pro-presidential newspaper, “Hayots Ashkhar,” says the street protests are no longer an effective method of political struggle in Armenia. The paper sees “serious disagreements” among the 13 opposition parties that have organized the rallies over the past month. It also claims that National Democratic Union leader Vazgen Manukian may become the single candidate of the radical opposition in next year’s presidential election. “With his yesterday’s speech, he let it be known that speculation about his ambitions has serious grounds.
In a separate commentary, “Hayots Ashkhar” says the scandal surrounding last Sunday’s mayoral election in the northern town of Ijevan could “discredit the very idea of elections.” The paper blames the local authorities for the “unprecedented outcry and mutual accusations” voiced by the two main candidates and their supporters. Both candidates made use of their “government levers” during the election campaign. This resulted in a “brutal and tough infighting” between various government structures.
“Azg” devotes a whole page to Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s two years in office. The paper indicates its overall approval of Markarian’s two-year track record but cautions that he has still a long way to go before fulfilling his mission.
Markarian, meanwhile, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the two-year prime ministership has given him “a lot of experience, patience, and the ability to listen to others.” “It has taken away my health though. But I still have potential,” he says.