“Eight years ago to the day Armenia’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosian resigned after both the public and a considerable part of the ruling elite, including then Prime Minister Robert Kocharian, found unacceptable and rejected a Karabakh settlement favored by him,” editorializes “Iravunk.” “Ironically, Robert Kocharian and his inner circle, who rejected Levon Ter-Petrosian’s phased solution and proposed a package deal, are now on the verge of signing a document that envisages a phased solution.” The paper claims that Kocharian too may have to quit as a result.
“Ayb-Fe” says that over the past eight years Kocharian has failed to resolve the Karabakh conflict and other fundamental problems facing Armenia. The paper accuses him of continuing to exploit the Karabakh for “prolonging his power.”
“Levon Ter-Petrosian gave up power not because he could not hold on to it but because he had to make a choice between real power and his idea of power,” comments “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “He chose the idea and all the dreamers in the government hierarchy followed him.” Those who did not have “deprived Armenia of a dream and made their dream come true: they have Hummers, money, lots of money.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” writer and parliament deputy Alvard Petrosian urges Kocharian to “declare martial law in the cultural field.” “Not because the situation is critical and there are no talented people left in the country, but because he needs to steer that system,” she says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says political struggle in Armenia is now based on the “wrong” proposition that regime change is impossible because the opposition is too weak. “It does not cross anybody’s mind to object: Wait a minute, if the opposition is unable to effect regime change that doesn’t mean regime change is impossible. Regime change can be carried out by forces inside the regime.”
A senior member of the radical opposition Hanrapetutyun party, Gegham Harutiunian, assures “Aravot” that the Armenian opposition has not been defeated. “Today we have a government which is totally beyond control,” he says. “With its actions the government has made Armenia very vulnerable.” Hanrapetutyun continues to believe in the possibility of a “democratic revolution” in the country, he adds.
Levon Mkrtchian, a leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the strength of new parties created by Armenian oligarchs is being overestimated by politicians and pundits. Mkrtchian says they can hold sway in Armenian politics only if it is reduced to “rough business without rules.” “This is what can deal a heavy blow to our political culture,” he says.