“Azg” predicts that the latest annual survey of former Communist countries by the New York-based group Freedom House, which described Armenia’s political system as increasingly authoritarian, will be the main theme of speeches at the next opposition rally in Yerevan. Yet the survey is hardly a cause for concern for the Armenian authorities because “they have already acquired immunity to react to criticism from international organizations.” “The survey will hardly cause a stir in the opposition ranks because it’s not money, whereas money is that the opposition needs,” the paper says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses non-governmental organizations critical of the Armenian authorities’ crackdown on the opposition of participating in perceived U.S. attempts to engineer a coup d’etat in the country. The pro-presidential paper says that they are part of a group entrusted with testing “various techniques and models” of political destabilization in Armenia. “The founding meeting of these coup plotters was held under the watchful eye of foreign, mainly American organizations with state and government origins. What is this if not an interference in our country’s internal affairs?”
“Aravot” says the Armenian opposition seems untroubled by implicit government threats to strip it of any representation in parliament which opposition deputies have been boycotting since February. “This indifference is apparently due to their confidence that such a step would not save the [ruling] coalition,” the paper says. It argues that by revoking the opposition lawmakers’ mandates the government would give the opposition an “excellent trump card” in its arguments that democracy is non-existent in Armenia.
“It can now be concluded that the Armenian opposition is in crisis and its chances of effecting regime change are murky,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “This is also evidenced by the fact that opposition leaders cite a lack of financial resources as the main obstacle to their further actions. That testifies to two things. The opposition has still not been able to disseminate an ideological interest [in regime change] among the broad public, and provision of additional services becomes necessary for bringing people to rallies. Secondly, Armenia’s financial-economic circles are in no hurry to finance the opposition movement.”
This is not to say, “Haykakan Zhamanak” continues, that the government is doing well. “After all, government representatives realize that there is a deep crisis of government in the country. That crisis is not at all linked with the number of protesters in the street. As long as the crisis is not overcome, nobody can be certain about their political future because an ongoing crisis means an unpredictable crisis.” The paper sees in this regard efforts by the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) to distance itself from President Robert Kocharian. It says Dashnaktsutyun does not want to find itself “under the rubble of Kocharian’s rule.”