“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” provides an enthusiastic coverage of Saturday’s circle dance around Mount Aragats, saying that “one day we will dance at the bottom of [Mount] Ararat.” Interviewed by the government-controlled paper, Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian seems to agree with that.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Yerevan lacked three things on Saturday morning: policemen, public transportation and natives of the Aparan district. “It is hard to find a rationale for that circle dance of unity,” says the paper. “But that tens of thousands of people that came to dance were enthusiastic and jubilant is a fact. Our interlocutors made the point that they have not seen such unity since 1988. And it turned out that Armenians can still be united at least on one issue, even if it is dancing.” The paper notes that for 15 minutes the rich and poor, the rulers and the oppressed “were not enemies.” “But only for 15 minutes,” it adds.
“Iravunk” notes the conspicuous absence of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian from the high-profile event. “That was a demonstrative step aimed at the presidential palace,” says the paper. It goes on to claim that “processes leading to a revolution are continuing.” That revolution, it says, will not necessarily require “actions of mass disobedience.”
“Real bribe-takers in Armenia are so numerous and their arrests so rare that the arrest of an official from the [human rights] ombudsman’s office creates suspicions,” editorializes “Aravot.” The paper wonders if the arrest was prompted by powerful individuals implicated by Ombudsman Larisa Alaverdian in human rights abuses. It says if the official indeed demanded a bribe then he must face strict punishment. But that does not mean that other officials can continue to get away with much more large-scale bribery.
“Golos Armenii” makes a case against having an elected mayor in Yerevan, backing government arguments that a mayor representing the opposition could create a big “headache” for the central government. The paper admits that the ruling regime would find it difficult to make sure that a mayoral election in Yerevan is won by its loyalist. It says the Armenian authorities will therefore do “everything” to get the Venice Commission to stop demanding an elected mayor.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian on Monday failed to end the uncertainty about his Zharangutyun (Heritage) party’s participation in a possible new opposition alliance. “Raffi Hovannisian did not rule out the announcement of a new opposition alliance in a week’s time. Nor did he rule out an announcement that such an alliance will not be created.”