“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes that Midland Resources Holding’s request for a government permission to sell the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) to Russia’s UES giant is a mere formality because the Armenian authorities decided to give ENA to the Russians long ago. “The decision was taken because Armenia’s is Russia’s outpost and nobody else can own the largest enterprise of that outpost,” it says. “Everything else is a formality. But resorting to such formalities is a necessity for our government. They need to mislead the World Bank.”
The Artarutyun bloc does not fear being left out in the cold after the decision by the opposition National Unity Party to end its boycott of parliament, a senior member of the bloc, Hrant Khachatrian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” He says Artarutyun is too serious a force to be overshadowed by other opposition groups.
Artarutyun’s decision to attend only some parliament sessions is described by “Haykakan Zhamanak” as a “boycott of sorts.” The paper says Artarutyun deputies will now be free to go to the National Assembly at will. “It is evident that this formulation was chosen to suit the taste of the alliance leader Stepan Demirchian who has always liked stable and uncertain situations,” it says.
“Azg” says the opposition has ended the full boycott of the assembly after accumulating “bitter experience” and realizing that ordinary people will not attend anti-government rallies in large numbers anymore. “The reason for the partial end of the boycott is the [constitutional] referendum which the opposition wants to turn into an opportunity for regime change,” says the paper. “But of course, the opposition is not convinced that its capabilities will match its desires.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the opposition Hanrapetutyun party is determined to carry out its promised “democratic revolution” in Armenia. A senior member of the party, Suren Sureniants, is quoted as saying that the issue will dominate Hanrapetutyun’s upcoming extraordinary congress. “The public’s ‘no’ at the referendum is a ‘no’ to Robert Kocharian’s regime and an important precondition for the realization of a democratic revolution,” he says.
But as another prominent oppositionist, David Shahnazarian, tells “Iravunk,” it would be “naïve” to think that a popular rejection of Kocharian’s constitutional amendments would set off a mass pro-democracy movement. The paper comments, for its part, that the Armenian authorities are now faced with a tricky task of ensuring a ‘yes’ vote at the referendum and at the same time avoiding eye-catching irregularities.