“Aravot” worries that Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s verbal attacks on Levon Ter-Petrosian could be interpreted as a “signal to punitive security bodies and the huge propaganda machine made up of 17 TV companies.” The paper also sees a “common flaw” in the discourse of “the two main presidential candidates.” “None of them is speaking for the time being about the need for Armenia’s democratization,” it says in an editorial. “The debate [between them] is mainly centering on the Karabakh problem, the economy and, partly, [the parliament killings of] October 27. There are no program speeches on, say, how to make sure opposition representatives are not persecuted, media outlets are not closed down and elections are not rigged.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Ter-Petrosian has “polarized” Armenia’s political scene to such an extent that a constructive dialogue between government and opposition forces is all but impossible in the coming months. “Thus, the start of the presidential race promises a tough and uncompromising struggle between only two political poles,” editorializes the paper. “And that means other potential presidential candidates are now faced with a difficult dilemma.” They have to choose between staying neutral and taking sides, according to the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reacts to Sarkisian’s call for Ter-Petrosian to “repent and apologize to the Armenian people” for his past mistakes. “Many people reckon that the greatest mistake committed by Ter-Petrosian is Robert Kocharian’s and Serzh Sarkisian’s presence in Armenia’s internal political arena. And if Ter-Petrosian comes out and apologizes to the people for that, it will not change anything,” scoffs the paper sympathetic to the former president. Ter-Petrosian’s repentance, it says, should only take one practical form: sending the Karabakh-Sarkisian duo back to Karabakh.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says that Arevik Petrosian, a senior parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), will serve as deputy chairman of the National Assembly only until the presidential elections. The paper says the BHK leadership wants to have her appointed deputy minister of justice after the vote.
“Hayk” reports that police officers are again busy tearing up opposition leaflets announcing Ter-Petrosian’s next Yerevan rally scheduled for Friday. Citing witness accounts, the paper says that the leaflets are usually destroyed “under the cover of darkness.”