“Iravunk” reports that President Robert Kocharian and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian are “forming new powerful structures” as part of their efforts to ensure a smooth transfer of power to the latter. The paper says those structures will soon be registered as political parties and they will mainly comprise government officials. “As a result of all of this, the [ruling] coalition and notably the Republican Party will suffer losses in all kinds of elections because the mayors, village chiefs and all kinds of local government bodies will prefer to work for an oligarch with the de facto status of a local feudal rather than some coalition party.” But this strategy also carries risks for the Kocharian-Sarkisian duo as the oligarchs have “no eternal godfathers.”
“In Ukraine and Georgia there was a will and a desire to change the reality, whereas in our republic there is a desire but no will,” Vartan Harutiunian, a human rights campaigner and Soviet-era dissident, tells “Aravot.” Harutiunian is skeptical about the Armenian opposition’s ability to effect a revolution. “This opposition was once given an opportunity to take power by legal means. They missed that opportunity … The people followed them right to the end,” only to be let down by opposition leaders.
A senior member of the former ruling HHSh party, Yerjanik Abgarian, makes a similar point in a separate interview with “Aravot.” “Revolution likes prerequisites,” he says, adding that those prerequisites are now trumped by the strength of the ruling regime’s security apparatus. Besides, he says, the Armenian people “have move out of the revolutionary period.” “Revolution also requires romanticism from public circles, a readiness to die in the struggle. All of us have become very realistic thanks to the authorities. It’s hard to do a revolution with people that are busy solving their day-to-day social problems,” concludes Abgarian.
The possibility of an Armenian revolution is also ruled out by deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian. “Iravunk” quotes him as saying that opposition leaders “have no idea of what revolution is all about.”
“Aravot” believes that the Yerevan municipality approved a 30 percent increase in public transportation fares in the capital only to enrich “ministers, generals, deputies and oligarchs” that control the lucrative business. The paper calls the move “immoral.” “That entire ‘elite’ apparently thought that it does not squeeze enough income out of the minibus lines and decided to become a bit wealthier at the expense of the pensioners,” it says in an editorial. “The municipality can not reject the demands of those influential individuals.”