“Orran” writes that opposition politicians in Armenia pursue differing goals and ways of achieving them. Nonetheless, they can be divided into two large groups: those who struggle against the authorities in earnest and those who would content themselves with a modest place in the political landscape. The paper says a common opposition presidential candidate could emerge only from the first group.
Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that he is “startled” by the number of nominated presidential candidate. He says it reflects the fact that “Armenians are self-satisfied people, do not grasp the real meaning of government and Lenin’s assertion that any kitchen lady can govern the country is still stuck in our compatriots’ minds.” Also unhappy with the number of presidential nominees is a leader of the opposition National Accord party, Aleksan Karapetian. “It is obvious that there are nominated candidates that do not hope or even aim to win,” he says, adding that they are either “stupid” or “arrogant.”
The National Accord chairman, Artashes Geghamian, lays out his vision of a “national unity government” in a paid column in “Haykakan Zhamanak.” He says his main partners in such a government would be Stepan Demirchian, Aram Sarkisian and other “honest people” who were trusted by the assassinated leaders of the Miasnutyun bloc. Geghamian also vows to have Raffi Hovannisian, Vazgen Manukian, Shavarsh Kocharian, Arshak Sadoyan, Communist leader Vladimir Darpinian and other top left-wingers on board. Geghamian mentions even Armen Sarkisian, the London-based former prime minister.
But as “Hayots Ashkhar” writes, Geghamian’s efforts to rally a smaller opposition alliance around his presidential candidacy are not making any difference. The Communists have not yet decided to throw their weight behind Geghamian not least because they still do not know what to expected from the latter. Geghamian’s relations with Ashot Manucharian’s Socialist Armenia are not perfect either. Geghamian needs to win over Manucharian in order to “maintain links with a number of other forces.” “The need for Manucharian will be felt if he does not succeed in persuading Stepan Demirchian before the elections to cede his [opposition] leadership to Geghamian in return for a future post of parliament speaker,” the paper writes. It claims that the opposition leaders regard each other as more bitter rivals than President Robert Kocharian.