(Saturday, March 29)
“168 Zham” claims that the new four-party governing coalition formed by Serzh Sarkisian is “doomed to failure.” “It is evident that the forces that signed the coalition memorandum resorted to that step solely as a result of a unilateral agreement with Serzh Sarkisian,” writes the paper. “Their joint work can not be honest and effective also because the forces making up the coalition clearly do not trust each other.”
“What happened on that day [March 1] was not beneficial for Serzh Sarkisian in the first instance,” opposition parliamentarian Armen Martirosian tells “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “I think that no president would like to see the first days of his tenure filled with blood. Even if there was some potential for public trust in him, the recent [government] actions destroyed that potential. The president’s last step narrowed the prime minister’s room for maneuver.” Martirosian claims that Sarkisian has been left with only a “criminal-oligarchic power base.” “Serzh Sarkisian will hardly be able to carry out reforms with that base,” he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says one of Sarkisian’s main tasks must be to stop relying on various political and economic “clans” and replace them by a “real elite.” That elite, says the pro-government paper, must consist of individuals who “contribute to law and order, solidarity and justice.”
“Azg” comments on the mass detentions of opposition supporters gathering near Yerevan’s Liberty Square. “Policemen do not stick to any formalities,” says the paper. “In essence, they take whoever they want to wherever they want whenever they want. The oppositionists, for their part, seem to go strolling in Northern Avenue on purpose.” The paper questions the legality of police actions, saying that participants of the opposition “walks” do not pose a threat to the state. “Isn’t it obvious that law-enforcers’ manhunt will lead nowhere? They will only make Armenia look ridiculous in the eyes of any sensible person.”
“The reason [for the random detentions] is very simple,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “They [the authorities] have realized that their main political rival is not a particular force but the citizens of the Republic of Armenia. And so they are fighting against those citizens. What Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian need is not citizens but a population. Because as a rule, the population accepts the [government’s] rules of the game, is busy earning a living, watches soap operas, gives bribes and, in a word, gets by, whereas the citizens have one bad habit. They don’t come to terms with the rules of the game dictated by the regime and fight for their civil rights.”