“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at continued uncertainty surrounding the pressing issues that have for years confronted Armenia. “The questions of government, the population’s social condition, the fight against corruption, the level of democracy in the country have still not found answers,” the paper complains. “Nor are there answers as to which opposition demands must be met, which concessions must be made, what needs to be proposed, what needs to be changed and how to overcome personal enmities. Answers to all of these questions ultimately depend on one person, the president.”
“Iravunk” addresses another question: “Who might become an alternative to Robert Kocharian?” “In any case, it is erroneous to assert that Kocharian has no alternative,” the paper writes. It says there are “alternative figures” both in the opposition and among the president’s allies. The latter are already tussling over “who will be Robert Kocharian’s successor in the event of fresh or regular presidential elections.”
“Ayb-Fe” says that the main political battles in Armenia will soon be moving outside the parliament building in Yerevan. “The political struggle will be decided in the streets,” the pro-opposition weekly predicts.
“That [Artashes Geghamian’s] National Unity will sooner or later make peace with Artarutyun was beyond doubt,” editorializes “Aravot.” “The elections are over, there is no rivalry and therefore there is nothing to be divided for the moment.” The paper is nonetheless skeptical about chances of a “full consolidation” of the two opposition forces. “The problem is that opposition representatives periodically suspect each other of harboring real or imaginary love towards the current authorities.” This suspicion lingers on despite their leaders’ assurances. The paper views former presidential candidate Aram Karapetian as the most likely “fifth column” inside the opposition. While claiming that Kocharian will not stay in power until 2008, Karapetian makes the point that opposition rallies are useless and that the opposition has no strong leader.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to attack Armenia’s human rights ombudsman designate, Larisa Alaverdian, saying that a non-governmental organization headed by her is good at securing Western grants for various seminars, but not fighting against rights abuses by the government. The paper says it asked Alaverdian how many dishonest judges or other representatives of the Armenian judicial and law-enforcement systems she has exposed since 1991. “It turned out that Mrs. Alaverdian has seen only law-enforcement angels for the past 13 years.”