“Everybody can see at the moment that the authorities are following the path of repressions that are not accompanied by any serious political steps,” writes “Aravot.” “It is difficult to regard the formation of a coalition government with [the regime’s] clients as such a step. Furthermore, the authorities are now willy-nilly doing everything to preserve and augment the radical mood among the public … The purpose of that is obvious: to scare and intimidate. But the result seems to be the opposite. The anti-government movement is becoming not political but public and Ter-Petrosian and his activists are retreating to the background.”
Opposition leader Stepan Demirchian tells “Zhamanak Yerevan” that the massive rallies held in Yerevan in recent weeks were the result of “falsifications and violence” perpetrated by the authorities during the presidential election. “The authorities must understand that the people are offended and outraged and that all this is not about individuals,” he says. “This is why many [opposition] actions were spontaneous.” “The situation is explosive, and instead of sticking to their repressive methods, the authorities should take practical steps in order to ease the tensions,” adds Demirchian. The most important such step, he concludes, would be to hold a new presidential election.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” many disgruntled Armenians did not view any of the opposition presidential candidates as a viable alternative to Serzh Sarkisian. “At present there is no political figure who would meet unhappy people’s average requirements and be able to confront the government in earnest by relying on broad-based public support,” writes the paper. “Why did the opposition end up in this situation? None of the existing opposition parties is able to organize serious pressure on the president, the government or the parliament on any issue important for the public. They can’t do that even jointly.”
“Hayk” reports that the Armenian government has decided to hold a military parade in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Apil 9, the day of Serzh Sarkisian’s presidential inauguration. “Clearly, it will be held for one purpose,” says the opposition paper. “Serzh Sarkisian is seriously worried that tens of thousands of people will take to the streets on that day to express their opinion about the so-called elections held on February 19, the March 1 massacre, the ensued arrests and the continuing repressions. The people have not forgotten that Robert Kocharian was sworn in in 2003 behind barbed wire.”
“There is a deficit of justice and intellect in the country,” “168 Zham” writes in a commentary discussing causes of the unexpectedly strong popular support for the Armenian opposition. The paper says intelligence has long ceased to be a necessary condition for holding a government position in Armenia.