"Aravot" and "Haykakan Zhamanak" agree that the Armenian opposition's new tactics of boycotting parliament votes is having no impact on the National Assembly's new session. "Haykakan Zhamanak" quotes an unnamed opposition parliamentarian as saying that the opposition will again seize the parliament podium after October 10, when Kocharian is no longer allowed by the constitution to disband parliament and call for fresh elections.
"Azg" is alarmed by such a prospect, saying that the unrestrained behavior of opposition deputies would again plunge the assembly into chaos.
"Orran" comments that the first day of the parliament's autumn session brought to light the extent of mutual mistrust among various pro-government factions. The paper is equally unhappy with the newly formed coalition of 16 opposition parties. The grouping, it says, has not yet taken a single decision and has already dimmed hopes for a joint opposition candidate challenging Robert Kocharian. This is the case because the opposition camp is infested with "opportunists who have only one objective: to wreck any alliance, discredit any idea, disrupt any idea and initiative when necessary."
"Hayots Ashkhar" has the impression that the parliament factions and groups were trying on Monday to prevent each other from passing any legislation that could please voters. "It is not hard to predict that this will develop into real battles later this fall," the paper says, adding that the government will increasingly find it difficult to push unpopular bills through the parliament. The government can no longer take for granted support of pro-presidential factions. As for the opposition, it will continue to resort to "populism, hysteria and provocations."
"Iravunk" believes that "big clashes" are unlikely to occur in the parliament for the rest of the year. "Everything will be confined to sharp parliament speeches mainly addressed to voters. And the struggle for pre-election levers will mainly unfold outside the parliament building," the paper says.
In an extensive interview with "Iravunk," former environment minister Murad Muradian accuses Kocharian and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian of obstructing his efforts to crack down on corrupt practices in his area of responsibility. Muradian says his sacking by Kocharian last year was the result of "an order issued by the mafia." "If the country's leadership wishes to establish law and order in a coordinated manner, that task can be accomplished in three months," the ex-minister says.
In one of his regular interviews with "Hayots Ashkhar," Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian says the Armenian armed forces "can not be 100 percent apolitical because they are a part of our society." "Besides, they take part in national elections," Sarkisian says. He at the same emphasizes that no senior military officer has made any "political statements" or "meddled in politics" for the past two years.
According to "Orran," this is so because the Yerkrapah (war veterans) Union has become a "subsidiary division of the defense ministry." But this does not mean that the Yerkrapah leadership may not one day decide to again engage in political activities. "It only needs a slight change of the situation," the paper says.