“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolution on Armenia marked another “complete fiasco” in the opposition’s drive for power. “The issue of legitimacy is finally closed,” the paper declares. It says any attempt to challenge President Robert Kocharian’s legitimacy will now fall foul of the Council of Europe’s opinion. “After the Assembly’s April 28 resolution it is opposition change rather than regime change that becomes an issue on the agenda.” The most difficult thing for the Armenian authorities now is to accept the Strasbourg lawmakers’ calls for starting a dialogue with their opponents.
But according to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the PACE resolution is a serious setback for Kocharian and his coalition allies. The paper says the resolution underwent important changes during Wednesday’s debate. “The only favorable thing for the government in the officially published resolution is that the Assembly accepts that they are Armenia’s government,” the paper says bitingly. “And they were given until September to eliminate the existing shortcomings in the area of human rights, to ensure freedom of assembly and movement as well as the A1+ television’s return to the air.”
“Aravot” says the Strasbourg clash between the two rival camps ended in a “draw.” “The authorities need not worry about their posts because the referendum of confidence was not endorsed by the Council of Europe. On the other hand, the opposition got an excellent chance to keep the regime under strain in the next five months.”
“Ayb-Fe” likewise notes that the PACE took a “complementary” approach to the Armenian crisis which is unlikely to end the existing political uncertainty.
“The content of the resolution on Armenia is highly balanced in the sense that it will allow Europe to chain both the Armenian government and the opposition,” concedes “Azg.” “Time will show the inevitability of both sides’ and therefore Armenia’s defeat…Our country’s reputation in the international area received a new blow. Today the Armenian authorities are more vulnerable. The [outside] world received a new opportunity for pressuring us and clinching concessions on issue vital for the state.”
“Yerkir” editorializes that the opposition tries to offset its lack of popular support with international criticism of official Yerevan. “You can’t solve the people’s problems by weakening the state,” the paper berates the opposition.
“Iravunk” writes that Kocharian take have a “sigh of relief” for the moment at the PACE’s refusal to call for a popular vote of confidence in him. As for the opposition, it will stick to “the rally tactics” and take advantage of the PACE criticism of the regime which has “created a favorable field for holding demonstrations more freely.” The outcome of the standoff will also greatly depend on the posture of the three governing parties. The paper says two of them, the HHK and Orinats Yerkir, “have already shown that they can demand from Robert Kocharian guarantees that he will not dissolve the parliament and the government.”