“Zhamanak Yerevan” writes that if the “historical” meeting between ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian and ex-foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian planned for Thursday passes well and Hovannisian appears on the stage at the opposition rally scheduled for November 16 next to opposition leaders Stepan Demirchian and Aram Sarkisian, then “we can state that the idea of the opposition consolidation has been partly realized.”
“It will become rather complicated to oppose the union of four heavyweight politicians and the chances of Ter-Petrosian as a presidential candidate will grow. We think that the next target of President Robert Kocharian and [Public Television’s news program] Haylur will be Raffi [Hovannisian], whom, however, it will be difficult to portray as ‘embittered opposition’ left outside parliament,” the paper comments.
“Azg” reminds its readers that Armenia was considered ‘an island of democracy’ in the South Caucasus in the early 1990s. “But do not let us forget, however, that the name of the founder and the butcher of that island is Levon Ter-Petrosian. Therefore, it would have been right if the ex-president had started his lengthy speech after many years of silence by at least admitting the mistakes made during the years of his presidency. Many had expected self-criticism from Ter-Petrosian who emerged from political obscurity. But they heard only criticism of the incumbents. And let’s not forget that democracy in Armenia finally vanished in the wake of the 1996 elections under the tanks brought into the Yerevan streets by Ter-Petrosian to quell the protests.”
“168 Zham” predicts basing on the information it has that Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s campaign in next year’s presidential election will be managed by the Minister of Local Government, Vice-Premier Hovik Abrahamian. It also writes that Abrahamian’s immediate aides will be head of the Republican Party’s parliamentary faction Karen Karapetian and Minister of Urban Development Vartan Vartanian of the [pro-presidential] Prosperous Armenia party.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” asserts that most of the self-assuredness of the Republicans who declared that there was no alternative to Serzh Sarkisian in the presidential elections after they achieved a landslide victory in the May parliamentary vote is now gone.
“Moreover, many among the country’s political circles do not rule out even early presidential elections. For several days now some in these circles do not even exclude that it is possible Serzh Sarkisian will not be nominated at all. Or if he is nominated, then he may withdraw at some point as a result of the political developments.”