(Saturday, December 3)
“Golos Armenii” says hardly anyone expected the Armenian authorities to accept the opposition ultimatum on annulling the referendum results. “Even the radicals themselves did not expect it,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on the opposition’s failure to pull larger crowds, saying that Friday’s opposition rally in Yerevan was even smaller than the previous ones. “The post-referendum emotions are gradually subsiding and it is obvious that the radical opposition has suffered yet another crushing defeat,” writes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” predicts that the next opposition rally, slated for this Friday, will attract “as many people as during the previous rallies simply because only this number of people is today ready to fight to the end.” The paper says the opposition will therefore again lack the popular support to bring down the regime and its campaign will completely fizzle out by Christmas. The new year, it says, will see the start of preparations for the next parliamentary elections due in 2007.
According to “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun,” opposition leaders only betrayed their frustration by attempting to shore up the morale of their supporters on Friday. The government-funded paper cites Vazgen Manukian’s remark that the opposition should now go for broke as it stands no chance of winning the next elections.
“Every time the people gather outside Matenadaran to hear about ways of getting out of this situation and every time they are told instead how bad this situation is,” laments “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “It was good that the opposition at least expressed determination to take some steps during yesterday’s rally. They are creating a civic movement that will have a clear-cut structure. They will create territorial structures and the spontaneous struggle will have an organized nature.”
“It is wrong to blame everything on the opposition,” Andranik Hovakimian, the deputy chairman of the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) tells “168 Zham.” “One should clearly understand Armenia is today in the hands of a regime and everybody must try to jointly get rid of that junta. The public itself must realize this. And unless it takes [relevant] steps, no opposition will be able to single-handedly solve issues, whether or not it is strong.” Hovakimian believes that the vast majority of Armenians boycotted the November 27 referendum.