Writing ahead of Friday’s opposition rally, “Aravot” predicts that the authorities will likely send “shaven heads” and other agents provocateurs to disrupt it with violence. “That would allow the authorities to arrest several hundred opposition activists as well as the parliament deputies from the Artarutyun bloc.” The paper also fears that the protesters could clash with security forces if they are told to march to the presidential palace. But it also does not rule out a third, more “optimistic scenario” according to which the rally will proceed peacefully and the country’s main political forces will reach agreement on the referendum of confidence.
As “Haykakan Zhamanak” notes, there seem to have been no “orders to stave off today’s rally.” “But regardless of its outcome, today’s demonstration will certainly go down into history,” it says.
According to “Ayb-Fe,” “repressions” is the only thing that could save the ruling regime. “The authorities have taken all possible steps, while the people do not avoid taking part in the rallies,” the weekly writes.
“Iravunk” claims that the governing coalition has stopped short of “acting like Robert Kocharian’s support base.” “If Orinats Yerkir is seeking to distance itself from the president today, then it is very likely that the Republican Party will also act in the same style soon,” the paper says. “Robert Kocharian’s real support base at the moment is the law-enforcement agencies and the propaganda machine.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian of betraying Kocharian. The paper says Baghdasarian is ready to give in to the opposition and include the referendum issue on the parliament agenda. “We are seeing a poignant manifestation of the Pharisee mentality,” it says.
Commenting on the overall political situation, “Hayots Ashkhar” says Armenia is faced with a challenge which is more serious than regime change. “Armenia is faced with the choice of a model for its further development,” the paper believes, warning of the dangers of “street democracy” championed by the opposition.