(Saturday, May 8)
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes regretfully that Saturday’s celebration of the 12th anniversary of the capture of Shusha, the first major Armenian victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, will be overshadowed by the lingering political acrimony in Armenia. The paper urges Armenians to “think more deeply” about whether the domestic struggle for power fits in “the framework of the knowledge of our victory.”
According to “Golos Armenii,” the legitimacy of President Robert Kocharian and the proposed referendum of confidence in him are “not at all issues.” “Our real issues are different. For example, the fact that we still fail to turn Shusha into a normal town,” the paper says. “Isn’t this the case because we waste our time on unworthy issues too often? Or maybe we hope that while we remain busy with intrigues and infighting our problems will be resolved on their own. But this just impossible.”
“At the end of the day there is only one liberation and that is the liberation of the individual,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Thousands of Armenian volunteers took part in the capture of Shusha, many died in that battle. Are those volunteers, the families of the dead, all of us liberated citizens of a liberated country? Some of those volunteers now have top military ranks, own jeeps and sprawling ranches. They were fighting against slavery and became slaves for the sake of the epaulettes, jeeps and sprawling ranches. They became enslaved and have been enslaving their subordinates, their people.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” hopes that the political consultations between the governing parties and the opposition will lead to an “indefinite truce” which would allow both sides to find a solution to the political deadlock. “Sadly, the domestic opposition has opened a second front for the state,” the paper says, drawing parallels between the Armenian opposition and the Azerbaijani government. It says they both brand the Armenian leadership “aggressors” and “criminals.”
“Aravot” comments that the attempts at dialogue have made the political situation in the country more unpredictable. “In any case, the dialogue between the opposition and the governing coalition is a positive phenomenon. Even if it is part of a government effort to dupe the opposition and the international community.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says both sides are keen to show that they are complying with the Council of Europe’s recommendations. Still, there seems little room for any compromise agreements between them. The opposition says it is only prepared to discuss ways of ensuring Kocharian’s departure, while the coalition refuses to even consider regime change.