“Azg” comments on the 19th anniversary of the start of a popular movement for Nagorno-Karabakh’s reunification with Armenia. “Today the aim of the people of Artsakh is the idea of independence, and that was confirmed by the referendum held in Karabakh in November last year,” editorializes the paper. It says opinion polls also confirm that the Karabakh Armenians are fiercely opposed to a return under Azerbaijani rule.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that shortly after Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian stated late last year that he will not be seeking a third term in office local authorities began gauging public opinion on the issue. This took the form of opinion polls in which local residents were asked to express their views on the possibility of Ghukasian’s participation in this summer’s presidential election. The polls were followed by public statements by Moscow-based experts urging the Karabakh Armenians to ask Ghukasian not quit. The paper speculates that if Ghukasian changes his mind he will set an important precedent for Robert Kocharian.
“The Republican Party and Prosperous Armenia are vying for the people’s votes,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “In reality, the calculation is simple. Both parties are doing the same job, and the masses happy with the authorities should vote for the Republicans, while the disaffected ones should choose Prosperous Armenia. As for the opposition, it has very well adapted to the rules of the game and split into two sections. One section supports Robert Kocharian, while the other Serzh Sarkisian.”
“It is no secret that President Kocharian can not stand any criticism addressed to him,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “From the human standpoint, there is nothing extraordinary about that. Do you think George Bush or Jacques Chirac like being publicly criticized? Of course not. But Bush’s and Chirac’s countries do not have a Constitutional Court which is ready to satisfy any presidential whim, while Armenia has.” The paper points to last week’s court ruling that allows Armenian state television to stop broadcasting parliament sessions featuring opposition attacks on the government.