(Saturday, August 5)
“The negotiating process is still alive,” “Azg” quotes Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as saying. “Potential [for a peaceful settlement] has not been exhausted, and we are ready to continue negotiations.” Azerbaijani leaders are ready to hold more talks with their Armenian counterparts, he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” predicts further splits among Armenia’s radical opposition forces, saying that pro-Western opposition forces like the Hanrapetutyun party and the National Democratic Union (AZhM) will split from the Artarutyun alliance and may form an “anti-Russian” electoral alliance with Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun (Heritage) party. “It is possible that the Orinats Yerkir party [of former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian] will gravitate towards this grouping,” writes the paper.
“Today the people are demoralized because the overwhelming majority of the public does not believe in the possibility of civilized elections,” Artarutyun leader Stepan Demirchian tells “168 Zham.” “Of course, the public has reason to think so because these authorities have repeatedly falsified elections.” Demirchian also indicates his skepticism about the creation of new opposition alliances.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” complaints in the last few elections Armenians had to make a choice between “the least and the worst of evils.” It also notes that Armenia has not had regime change as a result of elections since its independence from the Soviet Union.
“Hayots Ashkhar” forecasts a further appreciation of the Armenian dram against the U.S. dollar, saying that the Armenian Central Bank’s measures aimed at suppressing inflation are contributing to the process. “Now that inflationary pressures are building up in the domestic market and, furthermore, risk factors are growing, it is possible that the Central Bank will try to meet the annual 3 percent inflation target by curtailing the amount of cash in circulation,” reasons the paper.