"Orran" editorializes that an "abyss" between ordinary Armenians and their rulers that emerged in the 1990s has deepened further under President Robert Kocharian's rule and is now having "even more disastrous consequences." "If the opposition really believes that these authorities are evil and a disaster for this country, it must unite," the paper says. So far the opposition parties have been too slow in joining forces for a decisive push for power.
"Aravot" also doubts the sincerity of opposition intentions to "fight against Kocharian." "Furthermore, they want to lose to Kocharian discreetly without the slightest imitation of struggle. Otherwise, they would not have squandered this perfect opportunity for holding rallies," it claims.
But "Or" sees political tensions mounting in Armenia, pointing to a "frantic race" for the October 20 local elections. The paper says almost all election candidates are primarily concerned with "realizing their childhood rosy dream of getting rich within a short period of time."
"Haykakan Zhamanak" shrugs off the pro-Kocharian Dashnaktsutyun's plans to sign a joint declaration with opposition pledging to ensure the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections. "This in itself is an expression of lawlessness," the paper says, arguing that Armenia's constitution and laws already guarantee free elections. Therefore, it says, the Dashnaks' latest maneuvers are simply an attempt at "self advertising."
But according to "Hayots Ashkhar," a leader of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party, Albert Bazeyan, has welcomed Dashnaktsutyun's initiative. Bazeyan says there are "issues of nationwide significance" on which parties with differing agendas can agree. Turning to the opposition camp, Bazeyan says no party can expedite a regime change single-handedly.
Another top oppositionist, Vahan Shirkhanian, says the 16-party opposition coalition has not exhausted all possibilities of transforming into an electoral alliance. "It has not even started to act in earnest," he tells "Haykakan Zhamanak." Shirkhanian claims that Kocharian is capable of taking "the most extreme steps" to cling to power. The former government minister admits that the 1998 presidential election was falsified and that the people are "perfectly aware" that Kocharian was not elected president at the time.
"Aravot" alleges that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma engaged in a drunken debauchery in Yerevan's infamous Aragast cafe where he was taken by Kocharian on Wednesday night. The paper says Kuchma offended jazz band musicians and made advances on waitresses, forcing them to sit next to the two presidents. "It is said that Robert Kocharian kept personally apologizing for his counterpart's unexpected and reckless behavior."