"Haykakan Zhamanak" prints what it says is a draft declaration of left-wing opposition parties announcing the creation of a "popular and patriotic bloc." The opposition paper is very unhappy with its content. "One gets the impression that its authors have set some other goals. A close look at the structure and possible tasks of the popular-patriotic bloc shows that this new format is aimed at preventing a possible pre-election alliance between the HZhK and Hanrapetutyun." By joining the left-wing alliance the two parties would "automatically become a minority and find themselves in an environment where the decision-making powers rest in the hands of Socialist Armenia members."
"Orran" says the opposition still has a long way to go in coming up with a single presidential candidate. "It is possible that his name will emerge only days before the elections. In the meantime, there seems to be a tendency to choose Artashes Geghamian." The paper believes that President Robert Kocharian would benefit from the choice of Geghamian. "Geghamian can defect to the president's camp at any moment, depending on what he will be offered."
A top ally of Levon Ter-Petrosian, Stepan Grigorian, attacks Geghamian in "Aravot" for ruling out his support for the former ruling party. Grigorian says Geghamian has a "rich experience" with cooperating with the "former regime" during previous elections. For its part, the pro-Ter-Petrosian daily claims that Geghamian began harshly criticizing Kocharian only after the latter's repeated refusal to appoint him prime minister.
"Azg" says the opposition parties are finding it increasingly hard to agree on dividing their roles and future government posts, something which the paper believes is the necessary condition for an agreement on the single candidate. The opposition seems not only unable to form a "stable and promising alliance," but also cooperate "in a normal way."
"Orran" reports that speaker Armen Khachatrian is confident that opposition lawmakers will not seize the main parliament rostrum at the start of the autumn session of the National Assembly. "He will not say why," the paper says.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" reports that a senior member of the Republican Party (HHK), Deputy Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian, is incensed by this week's tumultuous congress of the Union of Communities which saw scathing attacks on the Republican Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. Torosian tells the paper that the gathering betrayed the "extreme meanness" of its organizers.
But "Hayots Ashkhar" believes that the congress is being exploited for further attempts to "spread artificial contradictions between the president and prime minister." And it is not just the opposition that is making such efforts. Some government factions also have a hand in them. The pro-government paper says this would not have happened if Kocharian, the Republicans and their allies had announced that they are jointly preparing for the elections.