“Iravunk” analyzes “root motives” for government and opposition actions in Armenia. The paper claims that the government camp remains divided that the “real carriers of power” in Armenia are not the coalition parties but “the semi-criminal, oligarchic and clan-based system.” “The governing parties serve as a political smokescreen for that system,” it says. As for the opposition parties, their disagreements, notably on constitutional reform, are not ideological either. “The opposition has still not given the public guarantees for the restoration of the rule of law in the event of regime change in the country.” That is why its “revolutionary” efforts have so far led nowhere, concludes the paper.
Citing unnamed officials in the Armenian Defense Ministry, “Iravunk” reports that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian held a confidential meeting with members of his inner circle before leaving for Monte Carlo last week on an allegedly gambling trip. “He once again stated that he is prepared to spend $300 million in order to win the next elections,” claims the paper.
“Aravot” reports that opposition leader Artashes Geghamian hits back at the head of the OSCE office in Yerevan, Vladimir Pryakhin, over his remark that the situation in Armenia does not bode well for an anti-government revolution because most people lack faith in the opposition. “When you take a close look at Mr. Pryakhin’s interview, you willy-nilly think that it was written in the offices of the defense minister or Robert Kocharian,” says Geghamian. “Mr. Pryakhin seems to be trying to stymie, to put a leash on our people, saying: ‘This is the government you have and don’t you ever think that you can carry out regime change and have better lives.’”
Geghamian also blasts the Russian official for claiming that the Armenian media is free. “If the press is free and there is room for the opposition, then why was an ‘Aravot’ correspondent beaten on April 5, 2004? Maybe this is what inspired Mr. Pryakhin into arriving at such conclusions. Maybe Mr. Pryakhin is buoyed by the fact that the existing constitution is being constantly violated, that those violations do not lead to any consequences and never prompt any reaction from the [OSCE’s] Yerevan office.”