“Aravot” marks the April 1 Fool’s Day with a mock story. The paper says President Robert Kocharian will tender his resignation on April 1 and has prepared the following statement: “It’s been six years since the illegitimate regime headed by myself is in death throes. National wealth has been plundered or given to foreigners, the people have been out-migrating. Given all that and in accordance with the wishes of Stepan Demirchian, Artashes Geghamian and Victor Dallakian, I am resigning to read books and master the art of chess.”
Commenting on the launch of criminal proceedings against leaders of the opposition Artarutyun alliance, “Aravot” says Robert Kocharian has demonstrated why he sacked Armenia’s prosecutor-general.
“In effect, this is a criminal case against all opposition leaders,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper says both the authorities and the opposition are upping the stakes in the mounting standoff and any dialogue between them is not possible at this juncture. “The authorities say they are ready to defuse the situation and sit with the opposition at a negotiating table that will not have two issues: a referendum of confidence and possible regime change. The opposition says it is open to a dialogue and negotiations with the authorities, but only two issues must be put on the negotiating table: the holding of a referendum of confidence and a smooth regime change.”
“Azg” says the prosecutors’ statement exposed the authorities’ determination to launch “large-scale arrests” of opposition leaders and activists. “A signal has been given, the nature of the ‘crime’ has been determined, punishment has been set,” editorializes the paper. “Everything will be done ‘by law’. Even the lawmaker leaders of the opposition can not avoid punishment. Given the existing balance of forces in parliament it is very easy to strip them of immunity.” According to “Azg,” Kocharian’s message to the opposition is clear: “inactivity or arrest.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” welcomes the criminal proceedings, saying that the recent opposition activities are “an attempt to deny the existence of the state.” “So the state is faced with a challenge to not just maintain law and order but prove the very fact of its existence,” the paper writes. “That means that the state, embodied by the government, not only has the right but is obliged to prevent all those actions that are aimed at a violent change of constitutional order.”
“Popular revolutions never take place, there are only partisan revolts dictated by the interests of a particular social class or group,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” The paper says all revolutions in the world have disrupted the normal development of countries. “Revolution only leaves ruins,” it adds comparing an opposition-led uprising to an abortion and incomplete education.