“168 Zham” accuses Armenia’s ruling elite of using the Karabakh issue to “intimidate their own people, ensure their welfare and justify their illegal actions.” “The existence of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem constrains political forces to be more restrained in political struggle. This is not that bad. Having failed to initiate democratic reforms, develop the economy, they are restrained enough not to commit stupidities.”
“Aravot” says Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian is wrong to believe that the Armenian side’s negotiating position is at least as strong as it was in 1998. “At that time there were at least hopes to discuss the question of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence in exchange for [occupied] territories. After all, even Kocharian and Oskanian are not against this option. But even that prospect is not feasible for us today,” claims the paper.
“On the one hand, the Karabakh issue is a factor stifling revolution. But on the other hand, the state of the negotiation process is not encouraging at the moment,” writes “Golos Armenii.” The paper fears a major destabilization of the political situation in Armenia during the October local elections.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes the head of the Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vladimir Putin, as saying that the wave of post-Soviet revolutions could reach Armenia. Pryakhin doesn’t think an opposition-led movement in Armenia would be accompanied by looting and other violence. “I know the Armenian people and know that such a thing will not happen,” he says. “As for the governments, they certainly change through voting, calls or otherwise.”
“168 Zham” says a revolution in Armenia hasn’t taken place because political groups advocating it are “doing everything to prevent it from happening.” “It appears that at the forefront of such forces is the Nor Zhamanakner party of Aram Karapetian,” says the paper. “Karapetian’s mission is to imitate revolutions.” The paper notes the boycott of the party’s Thursday conference by leaders of the mainstream opposition. The gathering was instead attended by a representative of parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir party.
“It was extremely interesting to see the deputy chairman of Orinats Yerkir, Mher Shahgeldian, wish Nor Zhamanakner successful work,” comments “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Does that mean that Orinats Yerkir, which is always ready for political consultations, does not mind joining those advocating a national revolution?”