“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Wednesday’s demonstration in Yerevan was the biggest of all protests staged by the Armenian opposition this year. “This demonstrated that talk of the opposition movement losing momentum is extremely exaggerated,” the paper says.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says far more important are government statistics which show a “serious” improvement of the economic situation in Armenia in the last few years.
But according to “Aravot,” Armenia’s achievements will be “quicker and more tangible” if the authorities respect the country’s constitution and laws and stop infringing on civil rights. “Stop issuing customary condemnations and get down to business,” the paper says.
“The opposition will not engage in a dialogue,” a newly appointed presidential adviser, Garnik Isagulian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “This is my firm conviction. They will also put forward unrealistic preconditions. They often accuse the coalition of being managed by the president. And yet it is the radical opposition that is influenced and directed by another force.” Isagulian says that “force” is the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh). He also says that the authorities are able to resolve serious problems like poverty and corruption “over time.”
“If the opposition claims the opposite, then let it come up with list of 20, 30 or 100 honest guys who did not plunder, did not take bribes, are highly qualified specialists and can make the country more prosperous than America in two years,” the former Soviet-era KGB operative continues. “One should not talk about programs. A program is just a pile of words that can be arranged very nicely. Let them show who would implement those programs.”
“Golos Armenii” says the criminal case against opposition lawmaker Smbat Ayvazian, accused of hiring two hitmen to fire in the air and thereby spreading a panic at an opposition demonstration earlier this month, has ended up in limbo. The paper, which is sympathetic to President Robert Kocharian, reminds of the videotaped interrogation of two men who claimed on state television to have been paid by Ayvazian to stir up trouble. It says state prosecutors have mishandled the case, allowing the opposition to accuse them of being unprofessional. “This work style of law-enforcement officers causes huge damage to the country’s international reputation and is a lip service to the authorities.”