(Saturday, March 27)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the parliamentary leaders of the three coalition parties looked grim as they issued their statement on Friday threatening force against the opposition. The paper suspects that the statement was written by the presidential administration.
In another report, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says Vazgen Manukian remains a voice of dissonance in the leadership of Artarutyun, continuing to question the tactics of the opposition bloc. Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Manukian did not sound like someone who is preparing to take part in a “revolution.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to accuse the United States of whipping up political tensions in Armenia. The pro-presidential daily claims that the U.S. was behind the alliance formed last week between the Artarutyun leader Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian. It says the two leaders are used by Washington as a smokescreen for the introduction of “an Armenian Saakashvili.” The paper says some Russian circles are also keen to manipulate Demirchian and Geghamian because they are unhappy with Kocharian’s “complementary” foreign policy.
“Azg” claims that a group of “high-level individuals” will arrive in Armenia on Saturday to advise the opposition on ways of achieving a bloodless overthrow of the Armenian government. “Two of them are famous political scientists. They helped the Russian president with advice during both presidential elections,” the paper says. In the meantime, the situation in Armenia continues to “escalate,” with the two rival camps upping the stakes in their impending clash. The paper says government officials are no less “ugly” than the opposition leaders in their tactics. “Nervous, they confuse the statesman’s dignity with personal offence. Neither side is displaying the will to avoid a clash. On the contrary, the authorities are seeking to put an end to the opposition leaders’ ambitions, while the opposition views regime change as its raison d’etre.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says the opposition “masochism” is reaching new heights. “The opposition is preparing a clear and overt provocation, and its whole starting point is to instigate street riots to put in practice a scenario whereby the oppositionists were holding a peaceful rally that was suppressed by the authorities,” the paper says. It alleges that “opposition agents” across the country offer ordinary people money for their participation in the protests.
A police spokesman, Sayad Shirinian, tells “Aravot” that the April 2 rally to mark the second anniversary of the closure of the A1+ television channel is “illegal” because it wasn’t sanctioned by the city authorities. “Police are obliged to prevent any illegality and ensure public order in accordance with the existing rules,” he says.