Analyzing the latest political developments, "Iravunk" says that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian is now "being sunk" by the president. "It appears that Robert Kocharian is indeed intent on getting rid of Andranik Markarian as soon as possible to avoid pining hopes on the Republican party in the presidential elections and, more importantly, to prevent the emergence of a clear majority in the next parliament, which would allow the president not to reckon with the National Assembly when appointing a prime minister." But, the paper says, if the tensions between Markarian and Kocharian deepen, the Republicans could inflict significant damage on the latter.
"Hayots Ashkhar" says Kocharian's opponents will hardly gain in strength with the ongoing unification of opposition parties. The process was the result of a consolidation of pro-Kocharian forces.
The paper's view is shared by Galust Sahakian, leader of the Republican faction in the parliament. Sahakian says the opposition is not suggesting alternatives to current government policies. The deputy speaker of the parliament, Gagik Aslanian, says the only thing that unites the opposition parties is their hatred of Kocharian. "I can not yet imagine how forces composing this newly created alliance will go about drawing up a joint economic policy platform," agrees another pro-presidential parliamentarian, Karen Karapetian.
"Yerkir" comments that the diverse opposition parties do not have any "ideological similarities." And they will fail to create a powerful electoral alliance as long as there is no agreement on a single presidential candidate.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" reports that the increase in the number of negotiating opposition parties led to substantive changes in the text of the draft opposition declaration. It now contains no reference to the Russia-Belarus union or any criticism of Levon Ter-Petrosian and the HHSh. The declaration emphasizes the need to put forward a joint candidate in the February elections. But at least one top oppositionist, Arshak Sadoyan, disagrees with that. Sadoyan believes that there should be several opposition candidates in the first round of the presidential ballot. The presence of
thousands of opposition proxies in the election commission would make it more difficult for the authorities to rig the vote, he says, adding that Kocharian stands no chance of winning it without resorting to "mass irregularities."
Meanwhile, "Orran" deplores the lack of media interest in the October 20 local elections. The paper says local communities hold the key to the solution of many problems facing the country. "After all, the people of this country live there. Let us learn not to make mistakes in small undertakings so that we can address bigger issues," it writes.