“Orran” writes that the Armenian opposition has not yet been able to make the most of the changed political situation in the country. The paper says this is so because the opposition has committed “youth-like mistakes.” In particularly, it failed to make it clear that people chanting “Demirchian! Demirchian!” at the rallies want the triumph of “truth” and that the authorities are fighting against the people, not Demirchian. “The people’s struggle should not have been personalized,” the paper writes. “A person, whoever he is, is very vulnerable.”
“Aravot” comments that the entire state apparatus is now hard at work, trying to thwart the opposition’s entry into the next parliament. The paper goes on to warn the authorities: “For Kocharian, the loss of his allies is nothing compared to the loss of popular trust in him if he tries to bar Demirchian’s Artarutyun from the parliament with the same methods with which he managed to ensure his victory in the presidential elections. The smartest thing the authorities can do now is to ensure elections as free and fair as possible.”
Kocharian, according to “Aravot,” will have nothing to worry about if he “lets the opposition win the elections.” “On the contrary, he will benefit from enabling Stepan Demirchian to occupy the post of National Assembly chairman. After that, it could be said for certain that opposition tempers and the people will calm down.” Any pretty soon, the paper speculates, the opposition-controlled parliament will become just as loyal to Kocharian as the current assembly has been for the past four years.
Writer Perj Zeytuntsian laments, in a “Hayots Ashkhar” interview, what he sees as an “atmosphere of enmity” reigning in Armenia. “The first diagnosis of our country’s ills is the moral atmosphere. That atmosphere can be changed with a supremacy of the law and a radical change in [the quality] of life,” Zeytuntsian says. “I hope that President Robert Kocharian will take such steps within the next year that will erase idea of a referendum of confidence (suggested by the Constitutional Court) from everyone’s memory.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” runs a stinging commentary on the authorities’ decision to redo last year’s repairs on streets in central Yerevan funded by the Lincy Foundation of U.S. billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. “Even state bodies do not deny that the work financed by the Lincy Foundation does not meet, in many cases, the necessary quality standards,” the paper says. “They spent as much money as was need for a quality work. On paper, of course. In reality, one should look for the quality of Armenian asphalt and cobblestones in the pockets of our officials and the purses and campaign funds of a number of parliamentary candidates and political forces.”