“Hayots Ashkhar” says that two-day hearings in the Armenian parliament on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict demonstrated that the authorities’ Karabakh policy “has no clear and serious political alternative that enjoys some degree of public support.” The paper says Yerevan’s “principled” position the issue is not only in tune with the peace efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group but also bodes well for their success. It is particularly impressed with Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s speech in the National Assembly.
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the Karabakh discourse of Sarkisian and other senior officials who had a hand in the 1998 regime change in Yerevan increasingly resembles that of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “Although representatives of the former authorities did not come to the hearings, there seemed no lack of those who reiterated the main emphases of Ter-Petrosian’s ‘War or Peace: Time to Become More Serious’ article.” “I see nothing wrong in the fact that the thoughts of our politicians are now in tune with what the first president was saying,” the parliamentary leader of the governing Republican Party, Galust Sahakian, is quoted as saying. The paper sympathetic to Ter-Petrosian concludes with irony that the ex-president’s views on Karabakh are not quite “anti-Armenian.”
“Each of us can separately teach any Western expert lessons of democracy, but will never fight for our rights,” writes “Aravot.” “We won’t do that because we are not stupid. One must be a complete idiot to willingly get into conflict with the taxman swindling us day and night, community prefects misappropriating municipal property, ministers, deputies and others. After all, they can deal with you in such a way that no European court would help you. In our country, he who writes for justice and his rights finds himself alone as a rule. Not because everybody else is scared, but because they are not stupid.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says revolutions usually bring down weak regimes. But in an apparent warning addressed to the Armenian authorities, the paper adds that even seemingly strong governments are not immune to successful popular uprisings if they fail to address serious socioeconomic problems. “One must not hide their head in the sand and avoid a sober and unpleasant analysis of existing realities. One must carry out real reforms and really raise everybody’s living standards.”
“Iravunk” notes in this regard that the extent of popular disenchantment in Armenia is no smaller than it was in Kyrgyzstan. “And nobody can guarantee that Armenia’s government is not as weak as Kyrgyzstan’s was,” argues the paper. “Especially given the fact that in both countries life is regulated by the same principle of clan-based monopolies and in both cases those clans are the main targets of public hatred.” The paper says President Robert Kocharian’s heavy-handed tactic of dealing with the opposition is not a panacea against regime change, especially if he lacks external support. “That Moscow can not be relied upon became obvious during Vladimir Putin’s visit [to Armenia last week].”