“Hayk” carries a statement by Ararat Zurabian, the arrested chairman of the opposition Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), accusing the authorities of effectively suspending activities of the former ruling party. Zurabian argues that one third of the members of the HHSh board are in jail while another third remain in hiding. “In any case, we are not against dialogue but are convinced that it requires equal conditions,” he says, adding that the authorities should comply with the recent Armenia-related resolution adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
According to “Aravot,” the main thrust of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s discourse since last autumn boils down to the following: “those who are not with me are supporters of Serzh Sarkisian.” “Has Serzh Sarkisian objected to that claim?” asks the paper. “Not at all. In essence, the current president was saying, ‘Those who are not with Ter-Petrosian are not in opposition and are my clients.’ Can there be a better dialogue and consensus? As a result of this consensus, we have a government that spilled blood on March 1, acts against its opponents with solely repressive methods and … is incapable of getting rid of event its most unsavory figures. On the other pole is the opposition that has consolidated the entire protest electorate from extreme Communists to extreme liberals and wants everyone to join the ‘anti-kleptoratic’ movement. That is why the government-opposition deal is falling through.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” complains that the opposition is doing everything to “spread distrust” in the authorities. The paper says that even the May 9 victory day was used by Ter-Petrosian for staging a march of his supporters. “By contrast, the forces making up the governing coalition organized separate or minor remembrance ceremonies,” it says. “It is obvious that if the four-party coalition continues to content itself with the role of a reactive force and fails to actively form an atmosphere of public confidence in the ambitious goals set by the government, it will once again cede the political arena to the opposition,” adds the paper.
“You want to spoil the festive mood reigning here,” Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian is quoted as saying in Yerevan’s Yerablur military ceremony in response to journalists’ remark that some of the prominent veterans of the war in Karabakh are now in jail. “Indeed, had it not been for those irresponsible media outlets, people would not have even known that dozens of freedom fighters are under arrest on ludicrous charges and everything would have been very festive,” the paper comments sarcastically.