(Saturday, May 1)
“Aravot” writes that May Day, which has been reinstated as an official holiday in Armenia, could have been an “opportune occasion” for a huge public rally in the country. “All workers do not necessarily need to have concrete political beliefs,” the paper writes. “They could have simply come out to express their solidarity on, say, the issue of raising salaries and pensions or to complain about tax pressures as well as the exploitation of the people by the new bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy. But the citizens of our independent capitalist country dare to fight for their trampled rights only when a pretty much self-confident politician appears on the horizon. Therefore, the problem is that so far we have tried to support either the government or the opposition, forgetting that we must first of all learn now to support ourselves.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the Armenian leadership is in turmoil and “deep depression.” The paper says that the initial version of the PACE resolution on Armenia was wrongly presented to President Robert Kocharian and other top officials as an adopted text. At any rate, it continues, the PACE resolution has had no impact on the political situation in Armenia and its authorities in particular.
But as “Hayots Ashkhar” comments, there are “no essential differences” between the PACE’s draft and adopted resolutions. The bottom line, according to the paper, is that the Council of Europe body “reaffirmed” Kocharian’s legitimacy by stating that fraud and irregularities did not affect the outcome of last year’s Armenian presidential election.
“Golos Armenii” also believes that the PACE gave the opposition “more bitter pills” to swallow, whereas its recommendations given to the authorities can be easily implemented in one or two weeks. “And if the opposition does not take to the streets then there will hardly be more a free opposition in the world.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” the head of the Yerevan office of the OSCE, Vladimir Pryakhin, again expresses concern at the “manifestations of violence in the political processes.” Pryakhin also says that the attempt to replicate Georgia’s “rose revolution” in Armenia can already be considered to have failed. “I at the same time think that the political forces making up the coalition also have realized that the reaction to the opposition was much stronger than the opposition actions and that it can not have constructive consequences. Therefore I once again emphasize that political negotiations are necessary.”