“Iravunk” claims that a weekend conference of the Armenia organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) ended earlier than expected due to an “unprecedented explosive tension” between the party’s leadership and ordinary members. Citing anonymous sources, the paper says the opening session of the conference had to be interrupted because of an extremely heated debate. Some delegates are said to have attacked Dashnaktsutyun leaders Vahan Hovannisian, Hrant Markarian and Armen Rustamian. “Nonetheless, the Dashnaktsutyun leadership managed to keep proceedings under control and there were no drastic changes in the [party’s governing] Supreme Body as a result.”
“Aravot” reports that the conference saw strong criticism of the governing three-party coalition of which Dashnaktsutyun is a member. The paper says the party leaders were instructed to make their coalition partners stick to the government program approved in June 2003. The delegates agreed that if those goals are not achieved within the next two years Dashnaktsutyun will pull out of the coalition. The ultimatum, according to the paper, was primarily addressed to President Robert Kocharian.
In a separate comment, “Aravot” takes a skeptical look at some oppositionists’ threats to unleash an anti-government “revolution.” The paper believes that those threats should not be taken seriously as long as most Armenians remain unwilling to take part in radical forms of political participation. “The majority of the masses do not seem to want to mount barricades because the situation has still not reached a point where the people have nothing to lose except their chains. The masses seem to have reach a conclusion that it is not worth doing a revolution for the sake of a mere change of political leaders.”
“There are absolutely no leaders in the country’s political arena that are able, in the voters’ view, to govern Armenia,” writes “Golos Armenii.” “The ratings of all more or less probable [presidential] candidates have substantially declined since last year. As a result, we could be forced to make a choice from among those hopeless candidates or somebody else financed by dubious sources will be able to take power lying on the street.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the presidential election in the United States will affect “the course of further development of not only that superpower but also the entire world.” A victory by Democratic candidate John Kerry would come as a “powerful psychological blow” to proponents of U.S. unilateralism even if he makes no changes in America’s domestic and foreign policy. The paper hopes at the same time the election will have no negative impact on U.S.-Armenian relations. “They must continue and deepen in the long-term state interests of Armenia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that U.S. foreign policy would undergo no major changes as a result of a Kerry win. Only some of its “nuances” could change. The paper says the election is therefore more of a sporting contest for the rest of the world.