“Aravot” reports that President George W. Bush said at the headquarters of the U.S. National Republic Institute on Thursday that the wave of ex-Soviet revolutions will spread across the South Caucasus and Central Asia. He also guarded against excessive socioeconomic expectations from those revolutions. “True, the U.S. administration will assist the new democracies during their transition period, but unfortunately for our oppositionists that assistance will the take the form of not dollars but the creation of new, democratic institutions of government,” comments the paper.
“Aravot” finds the U.S. strategy justified. “If power is to be transferred from one group to another with the help of the Americans, nothing will change,” it explains. “Including the degree of democracy. And there can be no democracy when the government is controlled by the Americans rather than the people.”
“It is beyond doubt that the wave of discontent in connection with local elections to be held this fall will be very big and could easily trigger a revolution,” writes “Iravunk.” “Also, one should not ignore the constitutional referendum which could in essence turn into a referendum of confidence in Kocharian.” The paper claims that the regime could collapse faster if Kocharian accepts an unpopular resolution of the Karabakh dispute. It also publishes a new opinion poll according to which only 12 percent of Armenians are categorically against regime change.
But as “Ayb-Fe” writes, opposition meetings in Armenia’s region demonstrate that “a considerable part of the society is indifferent to the political situation for different reasons.” “Pessimists … have convinced themselves that it is pointless to expect any change. Another part of the passive masses, which feels its impotence and lack of protection but does not want to accept that, is trying to convince itself and the society: ‘Alright, things are very bad, but if he quits but will come in his place?’”
“Hayots Ashkhar” mocks the “frenzied search for factors that could destabilize the political situation in the country.” “Yet the reality is that the constitutional referendum is threatened not by a destabilization of the political situation in the country but by the widespread popular apathy and the resulting lack of a [referendum] quorum,” says the paper.
“We know that we have losses if terms of our rating, but are at the same time well aware that we are still being of use to the country and the people with our presence in government,” a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), Hrant Markarian, tells “Yerkir.” Markarian also reaffirms Dashnaktsutyun’s opposition to the current leadership of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. “We hope that the liberated people of Artsakh will also be liberated spiritually and with its vote will create for Artsakh an opportunity to live with development and justice.”