“Yerkir” takes the view that the opposition forces boycotting parliament sessions have let down hundreds of thousands of people who voted for them in last month’s elections. The opposition deputies should have been present at last week’s election of the new parliament’s leadership despite the fact that they could not have decided anything. “Their presence was needed not as a formality, but for a real struggle,” the Dashnaktsutyun weekly explains.
But as “Aravot” writes, those who are now urging the opposition to participate in the legislative process were only recently accusing it of destabilizing the country and hampering its development. “What made Kocharian personally appeal to the ‘minnows’,” saying that there can be no life without an opposition?” the paper asks and comes up with the following answer: “The authorities need the opposition only for creating an imitation of democracy in front of the international community.”
“Orran” says the bar for entering the Armenian parliament is now set so low that one can only crawl under it. “If Robert Kocharian is a president, then they can well be ministers and deputies. And if those can be ministers and deputies, then each of us can be not only a minister but also a president,” the paper says. “And this is our sole ‘consolation’.”
A top aide to opposition leader Artashes Geghamian labels Thursday’s harsh attacks on him by the pro-presidential “Hayots Ashkhar” daily as a government “threat of repression.” Aleksan Karapetian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian may be plotting to assassinate Geghamian.
“Iravunk” says shared dislike of Kocharian may prove to be enough of a reason to bind together the diverse opposition parties making up the Artarutyun alliance. It could even restore cooperation between Artarutyun and Geghamian’s National Unity. Turning to the presidential camp, the paper says many senior members of the Republican Party (HHK) continue to treat parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian and his Orinats Yerkir party with contempt. The Republicans, for their part, are distrusted by Kocharian. This is why, it claims, the latter wants the opposition to return to the National Assembly and renew its public attacks on the HHK-led government.
“Aravot” quotes Ruben Hovsepian, a writer and Dashnaktsutyun deputy, as criticizing the new minister of culture, Orinats Yerkir’s Tamara Poghosian. Hovsepian says Poghosian is not competent and got the job by default. “This is one of the shortcomings of the newly formed [government] system,” he says. “The new culture minister has no idea about that sphere. It is clear that she will suffer and will make others suffer for long,” he says.