(Saturday, August 2)
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes that as far as the possibility of an upsurge in political tensions in Armenia is concerned, the Armenian authorities should have no cause for concern. With voter apathy reaching new highs, the paper says, the Armenian opposition is increasingly discredited in the eyes of many people due to its “successive electoral failures.” A major destabilization of the political situation is much more likely in Azerbaijan. Only “external challenges” can destabilize Armenia. The ruling establishment in Armenia has emerged “more consolidated” from this year’s elections and only “new figures and new forces” can remove it from power.
“With its limited mental horizon and capabilities, the current opposition can and will definitely resort to only short-term steps starting from this September by playing on the authorities’ nerves,” continues “Hayots Ashkhar.” As for the external challenges, those could take the form of sanctions by European organizations, a “serious change in the geopolitical situation in the region” and a “new crisis” in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which might stem from the political turmoil in Baku. But all of this, according to the paper, is a mere speculation. “So Armenia is heading for an autumn free of quite calm, stable and serious political upheavals.”
This view is shared by Gegham Manukian, a senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). He tells “Aravot” that further political battles this year will be confined to the parliament. “There will be no extraordinary escalation because there are no prerequisites for that,” Manukian says. He also makes the point that the current Armenian opposition operates in a more democratic environment than Dashnaktsutyun did when it was in opposition in the 1990s. “When Dashnaktsutyun was in opposition nobody could think that the regime could take a single step to engage in a dialogue with the opposition. And the existing situation simply can not be compared to the days when the authorities had a grudge against the opposition.”
“Golos Armenii” picks up an “Aravot” report that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian has three open-air cafes inside the largest public park in the center of Yerevan. The paper uses it to cast Markarian in negative light.