“Hayots Ashkhar” says that although the parliamentary elections are still a long way off, political parties have already kicked off their campaigns. Party activists are holding “lively” discussions about their propaganda tactics and fund-raising and are trying to win over prominent intellectuals who could “bring votes.” Focusing on the latter, the paper says that the past decade has seen a “final discrediting” of many Armenian intellectuals who used to dominate ordinary people’s hearts and minds. Their image has been tarnished by their efforts to get involved in politics and curry favors with the government. The intelligentsia should therefore not repeat its mistakes and should steer clear of the political battles. “If they think that they can do legislative work better than public and political figures, lawyers and economists, then they must have the courage to admit that they have nothing to do with arts and literature,” Hayots Ashkhar” writes. “What is the intelligentsia doing today? Nothing.”
“Iravunk” says the political situation in Armenia increasingly resembles the one which existed in the fall of 1997 when then president Levon Ter-Petrosian was rapidly losing power and eventually had to quit. The paper claims that the success of the opposition attempt to impeach Robert Kocharian is now a serious possibility. “One can clearly see today that Robert Kocharian is facing not only an opposition pressure but also pressure from inside the government,” it writes, adding that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian is engineering the president’s troubles.
An outspoken opposition parliamentarian, Manuk Gasparian, tells “Orran” that the impeachment battles in the National Assembly are the “result of an inner-government fight.” The opposition, he says, is either being manipulated by some ruling factions or just hopes that it will succeed in ousting Kocharian. Gasparian adds that Kocharian is wrong to believe that the opposition assault is “not serious” as he has failed to understand that “the Armenian nation has not accepted him” and that “these people really dislike him.”
Former foreign minister Aleksandr Arzumanian, who is the chairman of the opposition Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), tells “Iravunk” that the opposition has “for the first time made a serious bid” to remove Kocharian from office. Its latest attempt to raise the impeachment issue in the parliament was well calculated and is “flawless in terms of the law,” Arzumanian says. But he is at the same time confident that the opposition “will fail to achieve anything” because Kocharian and his allies are ready to resort to illegal acts to hold off the challenge. “Kocharian will do everything to split the 13 parties,” Arzumanian says. “He is a much more experienced politician in the field of intrigues and gerrymandering. He has brilliantly displayed that talent ever since 1997.”
“Yerkir” draws readers’ attention to the Armenian government’s poor budget performance. Despite several consecutive years of economic growth there has been no considerable increase in state revenues that would allow the government to increase its social expenditures. No wonder that the public “seems to have stopped pinning serious hopes on the state,” the paper says.