“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that a retrospective look at past speeches by Armenian politicians and newspaper articles is enough to understand that little has changed in Armenia in the last few years. “We contstantly revolve around the same issues. We put the same emphases on the same issues and cite the same arguments. We must really find our dream. But in order to find that dream, one needs to spend sleepless nights, perhaps many sleepless nights. Otherwise, the nightmare may not go away.”
“The question of whether there will be a revolution in Armenia now seems pointless,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes separately. “Independent statehood has not given the former Soviet peoples what it was supposed to give in the first instance: liberty. Now these peoples want to use independence for its real purpose, a life with dignity. There is a notion that revolution must take place in all newly independent countries.” The paper says the Armenian authorities are therefore trying to “imitate” a revolution of their own. “Most probably that revolution will be carried out by Serzh Sarkisian as he is perhaps the only person who can give Kocharian [security] guarantees. Sarkisian is now trying to present himself as a politician with serious programs and a somewhat pro-Western tilt.”
“The latest attempts by some representatives of the ruling elite to publicly present themselves as a advocates of democracy show that there is concern within the regime that the wave of revolutions will reach Armenia sooner or later,” agrees “168 Zham.” The paper says the authorities are courting the West in a bid to stave off their downfall. It also ridicules the opposition Artarutyun bloc’s decision to mark the first anniversary of last year’s troubled anti-Kocharian rally with an indoor gathering at a government conference hall. “This is another proof of the fact that the existing opposition is unable to resort to meaningful actions.”
A senior member of the governing Orinats Yerkir Party, Samvel Balasanian, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that its leaders “did not broach the issue of revolution” during their recent meetings with opposition representatives. “My impression is that nobody is taking that seriously,” he says. “And generally speaking, there is no revolutionary situation in Armenia.” Balasanian reiterates Orinats Yerkir’s calls for a multi-party agreement on ensuring the freedom and fairness of the October local elections.
“Aravot” says the Armenian authorities are running out of time in their efforts to amend the country’s constitution. “In essence, the coalition has found itself in deadlock. “Pressure from European structures on this issue seems fairly strong.”
Citing unspecified sources, “168 Zham” alleges that Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian lost as much as $2 million while gambling at a casino in Moscow a month ago.