Opposition leader Artashes Geghamian comments in "Haykakan Zhamanak" on
allegations that the Armenian authorities tried to implicate him in an
alleged plot to assassinate Serzh Sarkisian. The allegations were made on
Tuesday that by a man convicted of masterminding the plot. Geghamian
appears to trust him, accusing Sarkisian and President Robert Kocharian of
involvement in a number of high-profile criminal cases, including the 2002
murder of state television chief Tigran Naghdalian. "Those crimes were
committed by no one but their agents," Geghamian says.
In an interview with "Aravot," Geghamian claims that the
Kocharian-Sarkisian duo is motivated by revenge. He says the two powerful
men should have long been thrown into the "political rubbish bin."
"Aravot" expresses its support for the ongoing efforts to unite Armenia's
leading opposition parties. The paper welcomes the oppositionists'
readiness to bring into play the former ruling Armenian Pan-National
"Azg" says that the recent reports about opposition consolidation are not
unfounded and does not rule out the possibility of former President Levon
Ter-Petrosian's personal involvement in the would-be new opposition
alliance. The paper also reports that the Armenian print media will soon
see the emergence of two new dailies with a strictly pro-opposition
Meanwhile, a senior member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia
(HHK) tells "Hayots Ashkhar" that the opposition parties' plans to join
forces against Kocharian's regime could destabilize the political
situation, slow economic growth and weaken the country's bargaining
position in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks.
In a separate commentary, "Hayots Ashkhar" blames the opposition for what
it sees as growing external pressure on Armenia. The pro-Kocharian daily
writes that the United States is planning a "creeping offensive" in the
South Caucasus aimed at undercutting Russia's influence in the region.
Washington, it says, is pursuing an "arms-twisting policy" towards Armenia
involving both domestic and international pressure. Armenians, in
particular, are being told to "follow Georgia's example" of regime change
and settle the Karabakh conflict within a short period of time. The ongoing
opposition talks, according to "Hayots Ashkhar," are part of a U.S. plan to
"destabilize" the country.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" says that the prices of basic foodstuffs and medicines
continue to go up in Armenia. "Given that food products make up about 70
percent of our population's consumer basket, it can be argued that these
price hikes will have a severe impact," the paper says.
"Azg" also reports fresh price hikes, blaming them on the unrestrained
greed of government officials and wealthy businessmen who "continue to keep
the consumer market in the status of a feudal backward East."