"Orran" reports that the "unpleasant atmosphere" in the Armenian parliament deteriorated further during the government's weekly question-and-answer session on Wednesday. Parliament deputies and government members, answering their questions, exposed their mutual disrespect.
National Accord party leader Artashes Geghamian, meanwhile, indirectly confirms reports about a rift between him and other leaders of the 16-party opposition coalition. Interviewed by "Aravot," Geghamian rebukes his partners for "personalizing" their cooperation instead of mulling a joint program on "getting the country out of this dreadful situation." He says the pro-government media will not fail to exploit the opposition bickering.
One of those media, "Hayots Ashkhar," already notes with satisfaction that its skepticism about the viability of the opposition bloc is proving true sooner than it expected. The authorities do not even need to contribute to the opposition's disintegration, the paper says.
Political scientist Aghasi Yenokian tells "Aravot" that the opposition grouping will collapse within one month because it unites too many "ambitious people." Yenokian believes that none of the leaders of the 16 opposition parties has real chances of winning the presidential elections. He says they therefore do not pose a serious threat to Kocharian as they will only "take votes from each other." Yenokian also takes the view that many Armenians would welcome former president Levon Ter-Petrosian's return to political life because very few other politicians can match his stature. Robert Kocharian is not more popular than his predecessor, the analyst concludes.
According to "Or," the owner of the troubled television station in Abovian, Artashes Mehrabian, claims that he was forced to lie when he spoke on state television earlier this week. (He urged fellow journalists not to look for political motives behind his two-day mysterious disappearance late last week.) "I was constrained to express someone's thoughts that were dictated to me. I can not give the name of that individual or force because I believe that the danger facing myself, my family and the Abovian TV staff is real indeed," says Mehrabian. "I insist that despite my so-called televised explanation I was forced to go to Karabakh." He says he is now in even greater need of journalistic support and government protection.