“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the entire print run of its Thursday issue was bought up by unknown individuals before it could reach ordinary people because it carried ballots of a mock presidential election which the paper wanted to conduct among its readers. The daily, which is highly critical of the Armenian authorities, promises to make another attempt to gauge their political preferences.
“Aravot” comments ironically on the opposition’s efforts to put a brave face on the failure of its spring offensive against President Robert Kocharian. “It can not be ruled out that the second stage of the opposition struggle will indeed be the last and decisive one. It will be followed by further ‘last and decisive’ stages,” the paper says. “After all, the opposition needs to justify from time to time its status in the political arena.”
A key objective of the Armenian opposition is to “break the state propaganda machine” which presents it in negative flight, one of its prominent members, Shavarsh Kocharian, tells “Aravot.” “We now face a serious challenge of presenting Armenia’s problems and showing that the departure of the current Armenian leadership is just a necessary condition for solving those
problems,” he reasons.
“To put it bluntly, the opposition inflicted maximum damage on the regime with minimal losses,” writes “Ayb-Fe.” “It has finally weakened the regime with its struggle. And to achieve what the opposition has achieved with no resources and capabilities…was a difficult thing indeed. Now history is demanding a leader from the opposition, and the opposition would be right to use this break to stifle its ambitions and meet the public demand.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the political allies of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, notably the HHSh party, are sensing an opportunity to benefit from new challenges facing the current government on the external front. However, the domestic political situation does not bode well for the HHSh’s comeback, with the country’s mainstream opposition standing in the former ruling party’s way. The paper predicts a tough struggle for the leadership of the opposition camp this autumn.
“There are no political issues on the agenda of the vast majority of the public,” comments “Yerkir.” “That is natural because the leaders of the united opposition did not notice or did not want to notice how the rallies organized by them turned from a factor affecting the country’s political and social life into events merely mentioned in news bulletins.” The paper says personal ambitions of the opposition leaders simply failed to enthuse the nation.
“The intensifying international pressure on the Karabakh issue is bringing about a new wave of internal political activity which is mainly aimed at offsetting that pressure and has nationalist, patriotic overtones,” writes “Iravunk.” The paper believes that renewed public debate on Karabakh benefits Kocharian as it deflects public attention from the country’s socioeconomic woes. But the situation also carries risks for the Armenian leader, the paper adds, recalling the fate of his predecessor.