“The Armenian Pan-National Movement remains unmoving,” “Aravot” says of Friday’s of the former ruling party. The HHSh and its allied parties need to take more efforts to occupy the “liberal niche” in the Armenian political stage which is currently empty. “Unless, of course, they want to become a club of veterans of the revolution,” the paper adds.
“Haykakan Zhamanak,” another paper sympathetic to Armenia’s former leadership, is also disappointed. “The HHSh congress yesterday began amid uncertainty and ended amid uncertainty,” the paper writes. “The only interesting event at the congress was the appearance of Levon Ter-Petrosian who, as always, disappointed party activists and journalists awaiting his message.” Still, the paper claims that the former president has not yet taken a final decision on his participation in the presidential elections.
“Orran” present a more positive look at the HHSh congress. The opposition party, it says, is now going through a healthy process of “internal integration.” “There is a struggle. And if there is a struggle, there is also life in contrast to the current stagnating authorities.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says the HHSh is “convinced that the public needs it,” which delegates of its congress were playing up the Ter-Petrosian administration’s role in Armenia’s post-Soviet history. There was no word in their “self-admiring” speeches about causes of popular disillusionment with the HHSh in the 1990s. The paper also says that Ter-Petrosian’s silence, which looked “original” in the past, is now becoming weird.
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that on the eve of the congress Ter-Petrosian summoned David Shahnazarian and other HHSh leaders to express his dissatisfaction with the work of his pre-election “initiative groups” and “sharply refused” to participate in the elections. The paper says Ter-Petrosian was particularly angry that those groups are mainly led by obscure individuals.
“Yerkir” comments that the lack of public interest in Ter-Petrosian’s political platform was instrumental in his decision not to join the election campaign.
“Iravunk” says that one of the elements of President Robert Kocharian’s reelection strategy is to limit public participation in the election campaign and maintain “the atmosphere of civil indifference.” The paper says Kocharian’s support base is shaky because many senior government officials, its dominant component, can easily betray him if they feel that there are other, stronger candidates around. Some of them have already showed exposed their implicit sympathy toward Ter-Petrosian. Kocharian realizes that he must therefore hold the power class in check with an “iron fist.”