(Saturday, May 3)
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is impressed with opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s speech at Friday’s congress of his loyal political parties, saying that it was “emotional” and at the same time “extremely pragmatic and balanced.” “It was not a speech by a leader of the popular movement,” says the pro-Ter-Petrosian paper. “It was a speech by a head of state. Such speeches are delivered not by those who seek power but by those who have come to power.”
“Azg” finds the congress “depressing,” saying that Ter-Petrosian and other speakers were in no mood to reckon with the views of Armenians disagreeing with them. “It was a whole assembly of fanatics,” says the paper. “Half [of the participants] were left outside because the auditorium was too small to accommodate all of those wanting to get in. The speeches delivered lacked neither terrible adjectives nor venom, even though they usually complain about the government’s venom. In a word, only they are right, the entire people stands by them, they will win.”
“And if we add to this Ter-Petrosian’s assurances that he will act solely within the framework of law, then the authorities and Serzh Sarkisian in particular will prefer to seek solutions to problems with or by means of figures like Ter-Petrosian and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, rather than their discredited coalition allies,” writes the paper. It suggests that a dialogue between Ter-Petrosian and Serzh Sarkisian would “substantially weaken” the Armenian president’s coalition partners.
“Hayk” reports that as Ter-Petrosian delivered his first public speech since the March 1 unrest police tightened security in and around Yerevan’s Liberty Square. “Several rows of police would not let passersby enter the square,” says the paper. “Not contenting themselves with that, [the police] deployed in the square several buses from which armed policemen poured out. This once again shows just how scared the military-police junta is of Armenia’s citizens.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Armenia’s new government committed its “first serious blunder” when it failed to prevent last week a surge in the price of liquefied gas widely used by Armenian motorists. The paper says it will trigger a series of other price hikes. “This must not be allowed to happen,” it adds.