The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) issued a “weak” statement after its congress, writes “Aravot.” “It does not have the clarity and militancy of Hrant Markarian’s opening speech. Many points [of his speech] were not included in it at all.” The paper also reports that in a televised interview late on Wednesday President Robert Kocharian urged Dashnaktsutyun to be “a little restrained.” “More symbolically, he draw parallels between coalition cooperation and corporate ethics in business,” it says. “Indeed, our politics is a business in which [material] interests rather than ideological principles play a role.”
“Dashnaktsutyun has decided not to oppose other members of the ruling coalition,” agrees “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The reason for this behavior is that people in Dashnaktsutyun realize that they are not irreplaceable in the coalition and will lose lucrative posts if they fight for justice all too consistently.” The political standards set by Hrant Markarian proved too high for his party because “being in power was deemed by it more important than the freedom to criticize perverse phenomena in the country.” The two other members of the ruling coalition can easily subscribe to the vague generalities contained in the Dashnaktsutyun statement, the paper says.
Commenting on the first anniversary of the troubled presidential election, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that if Stepan Demirchian had been allowed to assume power Armenia would have had a legitimate government because “under the country’s constitution the president must be the one who gets the highest number of votes, but not the one who stuffs the highest number of ballots in his favor.” “In 2003, the people elected Stepan Demirchian and any step taken against the realization of that choice is a crime against the people,” the paper says. “The people elected Demirchian and if the same people did not like Demirchian’s rule they would have a legitimate right to strip him of power. Everything else is demagoguery.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the Armenian opposition was behind a Russian newspaper report alleging that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian sought Russian military support for suppressing possible anti-government protests in Armenia. The paper says that with this the opposition tried to show the international community that the Armenian leadership is weak and dead scared of opposition rallies. The opposition, it says, also sought to convince Armenians that their rulers are ready to shed their blood for clinging to power and that Moscow has turned its back on Robert Kocharian.
Interviewed by “Golos Armenii,” Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian says the periodical Russian press reports critical of his government are commissioned and paid by its opponents both inside and outside Armenia.