“Hayk” reports that Stepan Demirchian set four preconditions for forming an alliance with other opposition leaders. “He demanded that the opposition bloc again be called Artarutyun and that exactly half of its proportional list be occupied by members of his HZhK,” writes the paper. “The list would have to be topped by Demirchian himself. Besides, he offered [other oppositionists] to sign a memorandum whereby the opposition would have to support Stepan Demirchian’s candidacy in the 2008 presidential elections.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Demirchian is facing accusations of “betrayal” even from some members of the HZhK. The paper says the head of the party branch in Abovian, Smbat Yeghiazarian, has claimed that Demirchian has been cooperating with the Armenian authorities since September last year to make sure the HZhK clears the 5 percent vote threshold. “The party has betrayed its principles,” Yeghiazarian is quoted as saying after a bust-up at the HZhK headquarters late on Thursday. “Stepan Demirchian has never been independent. It can be said that he has always been directed [by others.]”
Sociologist Lyudmila Harutiunian tells “Azg” that the Armenian opposition has helped to “depreciate itself” in the past couple of years by boycotting parliament sessions and failing to close ranks for the next parliamentary elections. “Discrediting the opposition is part of clinging to power,” says Harutiunian. “The people also assist in that devaluation today.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” a leading member of the governing Republican Party (HHK), Gagik Minasian, comments on the increased political activities of supporters of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “They have been driven out of not only the political arena but the opposition field,” says Minasian. “Everyone knows the HHSh and nobody has lost memory. The HHSh lacks new ideas but has a great desire to stage a comeback.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that the extended family of Russian-Armenian leader Ara Abrahamian has set a political “record of sorts.” “Abrahamian’s three brothers have found themselves on the proportional lists of different parties,” the paper says, listing the Prosperous Armenia, Republican, and Orinats Yerkir parties.
“Iravunk” reports that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian will leave for Moscow on March 5 to co-chair a regular meeting of the Russian-Armenian inter-governmental commission on economic cooperation. “In fact, this is just a tip of the iceberg as Ara Abrahamian’s World Armenian Congress will hold a conference in Moscow on March 7, and Serzh Sarkisian will most probably participate in it,” says the paper. “The conference will decide whom to support in Armenia’s national elections.”