(Saturday, June 12)
“Aravot” editorializes that the Armenian authorities are trying to dupe the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) into believing that they have followed the recommendations of the PACE’s April 28 resolution on Armenia. The paper also quotes opposition leader Stepan Demirchian as denying that the opposition campaign for regime change has lost momentum. “Despite illegalities and repressions perpetrated by the authorities, the wave of demonstrations has not decreased,” Demirchian. “We were and remain honest towards the people…The democratization process is difficult and requires consistency. It can have different stages and manifestations.”
But as Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the opposition has failed to achieve its goals even after using unacceptable methods of political struggle. “An opposition which does not care at all about its country and national interests ceases to be an opposition and I am personally not interested in such an opposition,” Hovannisian says. He warns that if the opposition continues to boycott parliament sessions it will risk ceding its political influence to “someone else.” “That place will not remain vacant,” he says.
“Yes, we do understand that today’s government has many flaws,” Hovannisian continues. “But we also understand that time for abrupt changes in Armenia is long gone. We will achieve the realization of our programs slowly, without drastic changes.”
“Golos Armenii” says Dashnaktsutyun and its coalition partner, Orinats Yerkir, try from time to time to distance themselves from government policies. In the latest such example, Orinats Yerkir parliamentarian Gagik Mkheyan called on all those people who are disappointed with both the authorities and the opposition to rally around his party. The paper dismisses assurances by the party’s parliamentary leader Samvel Balasanian that Mkheyan’s remarks do not reflect the Orinats Yerkir position. It says Orinats Yerkir again displayed a trademark populism and sees “new indications of internal intolerance inside the coalition.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the European Union and other pan-European structures are taking a greater interested in the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict lately. “In Europe’s view, the issue of the Karabakh people’s self-determination must be subordinated to common standards needed for integration in the entire region,” the paper claims, calling for “increasing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s autonomous role in the negotiation process.” “Armenia should give Karabakh a freer hand in handling issues such as control of the liberated territories,” it says.