“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries a detailed report on the Thursday congress of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party. “Surprisingly, congress delegates were met at the entrance to the government’s conference hall not by [burly men with] shaven heads but intelligent-looking young people,” says the paper. “Finding Gagik Tsarukian’s personality extremely important, the young people first stopped journalists and let in only those who were accredited with the congress. Such a thing has not happened during the congress of any other party before.”
“People really want change, and they are being presented with a powerful and generous individual with unlimited material resources who is capable of miraculously solving their socioeconomic problems,” explains “Aravot.” “That is a workable legend for the next few months.”
“Iravunk” reports that among those who have jumped on Tsarukian’s bandwagon is Ruben Gevorgian, a former parliament deputy and senior member of the Yerkrapah Union. Gevorgian tells the paper that he is not upset with not being elected to Prosperous Armenia’s governing council.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Robert Kocharian has held a confidential meeting with Yerevan-based Western ambassador to set “two conditions connected with the upcoming elections.” “He demanded that the head of the [OSCE’s] election monitoring mission not be a representative of Great Britain or the U.S.,” says the paper. “The bewildered ambassadors wondered, ‘From which country do you want observers, Robert Sedrakovich?’ ‘From France or Russia,’ he replied.” The paper says Kocharian also demanded that his aides participate in the drawing up of the observers’ report. “The ambassadors were simply appalled by this dictatorial approach and could not hide their reaction.”
“He does not understand that those who chanted ‘De-mir-chian!’ outside the Matenadaran in 2003 supported not him but the idea of a united opposition,” “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes, referring to the leader of the opposition People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK). “Therefore, if the HZhK single-handedly takes part in the elections this time around, it will not poll even five percent [of the vote.]”
“Hayots Ashkhar” carries a scathing commentary on opposition leader Aram Sarkisian’s latest visit to the United States, saying that he is again trying to secure Washington’s backing for an anti-government “revolution” in Armenia. “In order to please [the U.S.,] one has to depict our reality in the bleakest possible way and to constantly pledge allegiance to the Americans,” says the pro-Kocharian daily. “Which is what the leader of the Hanrapetutyun party doing in Washington these days.”