Hanrapetutyun party leader Aram Sarkisian tells “Aravot” that the Armenian opposition sees no point in attending parliament debates on constitutional reform because “laws remain only on paper or are enforced only at Kocharian’s orders.” “I do not support the view that the United States must come and establish democracy here,” he says. “I think our people are able to establish democracy in their own country. And the USA has helped those peoples that tried to establish it.”
Sarkisian also claims that he and his allies will bring down the ruling regime with a single rally. “The people will take part in that rally with confidence. And I am convinced that Robert Kocharian will say that he will not use force against the people. I can’t say anything about the date and the time of the rally.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes that this spring has been the most quiet in the Armenian political arena in years. The paper says there are no prerequisites for regime change in Armenia despite renewed talk of a “revolution” among opposition leaders. “Predictions of serious political upheavals were not taken seriously.” The opposition, it says, has failed to rally international support for its cause because the next national election in Armenia is scheduled to take place in 2007.
But as “Azg” notes, President Bush’s visit to Georgia will only buoy the Armenian opposition. “Meanwhile, more than ever before the situation in Armenia seems to be corresponding to U.S. global policy of carrying out revolutions in undemocratic countries.” The paper says at the same time this fall’s local elections will not undermine the unity of Armenia’s governing coalition. “The most important factor is a desire to cling to power levers,” it says, suggesting that the coalition will reach “mutually beneficial agreements.” “It is easy to orient an electorate that has failed to satisfy its social needs with the tested method of vote bribes.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s son Taron will run unopposed in the May 22 local election in Yerevan’s Avan district. “This means that Taron Markarian is already the prefect of Avan. Quite naturally, this is the main guarantee of the “freedom, fairness and transparency’ of the May 22 vote. Indeed, does it make sense to falsify an election the results of which are known in advance?” The paper also quotes a campaign manager of the younger Markarian as saying that the latter’s potential challengers took a “very prudent step” by staying away from the race. He says this the prime minister’s son does not need to do any campaigning under such circumstances.