“Kocharian will resign within a year,” a senior member of the opposition Artarutyun alliance, Hrant Khachatrian, tells “Ayb-Fe.” The key question, according to him, is how that resignation will take place. “In the meantime, the opposition should prepare for fresh elections in a better fashion,” Khachatrian says. He admits that many Armenians unhappy with Kocharian’s regime are also disappointed with the way the opposition behaved in the aftermath of the presidential elections. But he says the opposition was right to avoid unconstitutional methods of political struggle.
A top aide to another opposition leader, Artashes Geghamian, tells “Iravunk” that the Armenian authorities are behind the persistent rumors that Geghamian is secretly collaborating with them. “Our republic has been turned into a theater of one actor,” Aleksan Karapetian says. “That role is brilliantly performed by the incumbent president. He is both the producer and playwright, while the whole thing is directed by Serzh Sarkisian.” Karapetian says Kocharian is also duping his supporters by planning to replace them by “other actors” within the next few months.
“If I had really struck a deal with the authorities we too would have been in parliament today,” the retired leader of the Armenian Communist Party (HKK), Vladimir Darpinian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” Darpinian also dismisses as unrealistic calls for the reunification of the HKK and several Communist splinter groups that also fared poorly in the May 25 elections. He argues that the latter are led by individuals loyal to Robert Kocharian.
“Golos Armenii” claims that various European organizations are unhappy not so much with the Armenian vote irregularities as with the political orientation and values espoused by Armenia’s political elite. “The Armenian authorities have a special talent for not drawing lessons from their mistakes,” the paper says. “Each of those mistakes has foreign policy implications.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is watching with unease Turkey’s recent diplomatic maneuvers which some observers believe signal a softening of Ankara’s policy toward Armenia. A senior party representative, Giro Manoyan, says the Armenians should not be “deceived” by the Turkish overtures as “illusions are being created that Turkey’s has changed something in its stance.” Manoyan praises the Armenian government for its continuing rejection of Turkish preconditions for normalizing bilateral relations.
“Aravot,” however, believes that the Dashnak warnings do not reflect the position of official Yerevan. “On the contrary, Vartan Oskanian states that Armenia is setting no preconditions and that the reopening of borders, even without the establishment of diplomatic relations, would definitely benefit Armenia.” The main thing, the paper says, is that Turkey, whatever its motives, is intent on changing its Armenian policy. It would be “stupid” for the Armenian side not to take advantage of that.