“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Artur Baghdasarian’s decision to resign and leave the governing coalition followed his late-night meeting on Thursday with President Robert Kocharian.
“Four years ago, when Orinats Yerkir was not part of the government, its populism could not be taken seriously,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “But it is more than weird to be part of the government; have a number of government members, a myriad of various-caliber officials, protected and reliable businesses; and play the old tune. This is a violation of the rules of the game. One deserves to be severely punished for that.”
Opposition leader Vazgen Manukian also believes that Baghdasarian broke those rules. “They have found a way to punish [Baghdasarian] so that others don’t do the same thing,” Manukian tells “Aravot.” “The party of the predators is becoming too intense. They have to remain inside the regime by smashing each other.” Manukian also thinks that the authorities can similarly weaken the Republican Party of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. But he says they will have trouble disposing of another governing party, Dashnaktsutyun, pointing to its “rigid caste-type structure.”
“It turns out that the ruling semi-criminal, clan-based system can deal very sharply even with the number two figure of the state if the latter dares to deviate from the parochial interests of that system,” comments “Iravunk.”
“Ayb-Fe” says Baghdasarian is resigning from the Armenian leadership because “the coalition parties failed to iron out existing differences by means of negotiations.” “The opposition ranks are swelling. Perhaps this is how the Saakasvhilis are born,” muses the paper.
But according to “Iravunk,” the ruling regime is not necessarily interested in killing off Orinats Yerkir. “If the Orinats Yerkir party is politically destroyed, the vector of [Defense Minister] Serzh Sarkisian’s blows will inevitably turn to Dashnaktsutyun,” explains the paper, adding that in that case Markarian’s Republicans would bear the brunt of criticism addressed to the Armenian government.
“Aravot” speculates that the collapse of Orinats Yerkir is part of Kocharian’s broader efforts to avoid signing a peace agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh. “And so the resignation of the National Assembly chairman is a means for Robert Kocharian to avoid his own resignation and win time for handing over power to his beloved successor,” claims the paper.
“What is happening to Orinats Yerkir these days is absolutely not that party’s problem; that’s the entire political field’s problem,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Kocharian is deliberating demoralizing Armenia’s political field. Step by step is consistently spoiling everyone to make sure that there is no government institution except himself left in Armenia.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Orinats Yerkir’s depleted parliament faction, Samvel Balasanian, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that he will remain loyal to Baghdasarian. “If you look at me carefully, [you will see that the name] Orinats Yerkir is written right on my forehead,” he says. “I am one of the builders of this party and can not get out … How can I renounce my principles?”
“Whatever they do, whatever pressure they exert, I will never leave Orinats Yerkir,” another senior member of the party, Hovannes Markarian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.”