(Saturday, June 2)
“Zhamanak Yerevan” writes that like in the period preceding the 2003 presidential election, there is some talk again that Armenia’s first president Levon Ter-Petrosian may consider his nomination to run for presidency in next year’s election. While the reclusive ex-president still keeps low profile and silent in public on any such possibility, the paper speculates that his surprise move may lead the opposition out of limbo and make him a single opposition candidate enjoying the support of some pro-government forces as well. “Ter-Petrosian’s nomination as a presidential candidate, indeed, can change much in Armenia’s politics,” the paper concludes.
“Aravot” suggests that representatives of the pro-government forces that have made it to the National Assembly are in an unenviable situation today, as they keep asking one another: “What’s up? Have you passed?” “They don’t know yet whether they will get a parliamentarian’s mandate or not. The Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the Prosperous Armenia party (BHK) have not yet brought that matter up as ministerial portfolios are more important for the first two these days. The BHK doesn’t seem to be active in negotiations on government positions, and the impression is that this force is simply waiting for whatever is granted to it,” the daily writes.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” observes that when public rallies attracted more crowds in the pre-election period there were more politicians who wished to address people from the stage. “But now that public activity seems to be on the decline, all those who swore in the pre-election period to take to the streets in the event of vote riggings and achieve [Prime Minister] Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation, have forgotten about their promises and hidden in the nearest holes.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” compares the new and former parliaments and queries whether those [members of parliament] whom Armenians elected in May are any different or any better than those whose speeches have been ridiculed by the media for four years on end. The paper arrives at the following conclusion: “The problem is not that the National Assembly is merely the mirror of our society. There was nothing to choose from. That’s the real misfortune.”
“Hayk” predicts that President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian will continue to drag out the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement misleading the international community as they have internal conviction that it is not an important issue for Armenia. “And the real opposition should do everything before the presidential election to convince the public that Armenia’s number one problem today is the unresolved state of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem,” the paper adds.
A Haykakan Zhamanak writer remembers: a friend of mine, Arsen, tells that on May 9, together with several Diaspora Armenian tourists, they were sitting on the grass in Gandzasar and suddenly saw [Armenian President] Robert Kocharian, [Nagorno-Karabakh President] Arkady Ghukasian and some other officials coming that way. The Diaspora Armenians asked the president if they could have pictures taken together with him. One of them, an elderly woman named Vrezhuhi, said, “I remember you, Mr. Kocharian, you accompanied His Holiness to Jerusalem.” Kocharian sarcastically answered, “It wasn’t I who accompanied him, he accompanied me.” The paper leaves the president’s answer without a comment.