Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” National Accord party leader Artashes Geghamian says the 16 opposition parties will come up with a joint manifesto that will win the hearts and minds of most Armenians. He claims that its main tenet -- “a social market economy” -- will be equally acceptable to both liberals and Communists. “The ongoing global developments have rendered the right-center-left division of political forces very relative.” But Geghamian fears that the authorities will try to spread discord among the opposition parties.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the political situation in Armenia is now characterized by an “unprecedented polarization of political forces.” There are three main political camps: Robert Kocharian with his allies; the alliance of 16 and the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh). Beyond this “triangle” there are only two political figures who deserve analysts’ attention: former foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian and the Russian-Armenian tycoon Ara Abrahamian.
“Who is Raffi Hovannisian in his new role? Is he able to play his own game or will simply occupy a place reserved for him by the HHSh and its satellite?” “Hayots Ashkhar” asks and goes on to conclude: “Raffi Hovannisian will play in the opposition field for the moment. But unlike the future leader of the union of 16 or one of the HHSh’s probable candidates, he will seek to play an integrating and ideological role in the political struggle.” As for Ara Abrahamian, things are more uncertain. Abrahamian has no political support base in Armenia. But his money and Russian connections put him in a position to influence political process by cooperating with both the opposition and the regime.