(Saturday, December 25)
“The year 2004 did not bring about, in any sense, a breakthrough in Armenia’s life and was essentially the continuation of the dull course which Armenia had begun the previous year,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” editorializes in its last edition of the year. The paper says the most significant event of 2004 was the brutal break-up of the opposition demonstration in Yerevan on the night from April 12-13. It demonstrated “the political bankruptcy of not only the government but also the opposition.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also claims that the year exposed “enormous possibilities” for former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s return to active politics. Armenians, for their part, got “a chance to get back a totally different Ter-Petrosian,” adds the paper sympathetic to the ex-president.
Opposition leader Aram Sarkisian likewise believes that the April 12-13 protest was the most defining event of 2004. Interviewed by “Aravot,” he also singles out the publication of a book by the late writer Hrant Matevosian and the authorities’ decision to end the criminal investigation into the October 1999 terrorist attack on the Armenian parliament. “The events of April 13 showed that this government is certainly against the people,” he says. Sarkisian goes on to accuse President Robert Kocharian of reneging on his pledge to brief the nation on the most recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. “He has nothing to say. He can’t find a way to justify surrender [of lands].” Sarkisian also claims that the Karabakh factor will trigger regime change in Armenia next year.
“Golos Armenii” predicts that 2005 will see the emergence of new political figures “with great but not always constructive energy.” The paper also points to local elections scheduled for next autumn, saying their results will greatly affect that outcome of the next parliamentary polls.
“The widespread hatred of government officials and the nouveaux riches has lasted so profoundly long that it has degenerated into a hatred of everything,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “And this is how we live: hating each other.”