“Aravot” notes tartly that the Yerevan municipality “betrayed its principles” by sanctioning the next opposition demonstration scheduled for Wednesday. “As opposition representatives claim, Kocharian’s regime is losing ground to the advancing democracy. But in reality, one can not even talk about any victory for democracy, let alone the people,” the paper says. “These manifestations would have never happened had the political situation not changed to such an extent that the authorities now have no grounds to fear any activity organized by the opposition. It became clear to the authorities that the opposition is unable to lead the people because it is weak and inconsistent.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the Armenian authorities are “one by one” meeting the Council of Europe demands and the opposition’s refusal to engage in dialogue with them is therefore becoming “more than weird.” The paper says President Robert Kocharian should have no cause for concern as he prepares to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg later this month. Kocharian will thus be able to deprive the opposition of its “European trump card.” The pro-presidential daily adds that Europe must pressurize the Armenian opposition into ending its boycott of parliament sessions.
But according to “Iravunk,” the authorities are only creating a semblance of their compliance with the PACE resolution. The paper says they are also keen to demonstrate that they are no longer worried about the opposition. “But in reality, the authorities are not doing that well, even if Robert Kocharian’s upcoming trip to Strasbourg ends in utter triumph. In particular, it is evident that international pressure to resolve the Karabakh conflict is rapidly growing.” The paper speculates Kocharian may well lack the muscle to resist that pressure and be forced to transfer power to one of his loyalists.
“Golos Armenii” says skirmishes along the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact have become more frequent of late and blames them on Azerbaijan. “Azerbaijan has begun implementing a program of local war. And this is a consequence to inadequate reaction from international organizations. In this situation it is worth thinking about not only defense but going after aggressors across the border so that the Azerbaijanis calm down and give up the current tactics.”