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Press Review


Not a hot autumn, but the situation is nonetheless tense -- that is how the weekly "Iravunk" assesses the political autumn in Armenia. The paper comments that although the opposition has not tried to compound political tension, relations within the ruling coalition and the government are clearly deteriorating. This could lead to unexpected changes.

The election of a new member of the constitutional court could become another source of tension. "Haikakan Zhamanak" reports that parliament deputies were actively discussing the candidacy of Kim Balayan, even though both opposition deputies and those from the pro-government Republican Party of Armenia have expressed negative opinions about his personal character. Some hold it against him that he is a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation--Dashnaktsutiun and a native of Karabakh.

It is unacceptable to see how the partners in the governing coalition are making populist statements, trying to enhance their image at the expense of their colleagues, "Hayots Askharh" writes. Statements made during the 8 November congress of the junior coalition partner Orinats Yerkir party are particularly disturbing in this respect. Such statements could further deepen the split within the ruling coalition, the paper comments. It is time to put an end to post-election populism and stop premature pre-election populism, "Hayots Askharh" urges.

"Aravot" published an interview with leading opposition parliament deputy Vazgen Manukian. Manukian says that the authorities always need reasons to explain why they need to retain power. Stepan Demirchian was a convenient rival for President Robert Kocharian because Kocharian could explain to the tens of thousands of people, who are not emotional and have something to lose, that such an inexperienced man is not capable of governing the country. For the next elections, the government will find another vulnerable political entity such as the communists, the fascists or someone else.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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