Opposition leader Stepan Demirchian tells “Aravot” that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) should be a “body coordinating joint activities of parties.” “Surely, the parties that will be part of the Congress will retain their full autonomy and right to act independently,” says the leader of the People’s Party of Armenia. Demirchian says he remains opposed to the HAK’s transformation into a single party.
“Golos Armenii” comments sarcastically on the decision by another major opposition party, Zharangutyun, not to join the HAK for the time being. “Zharangutyun has found itself in its favorable situation: neither yes, nor no,” says the paper.
For “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” Ter-Petrosian’s opposition alliance is the only force capable of effecting regime change in Armenia. “That is why a hundred activists gathering on Northern Avenue are much more dangerous for the authorities than a hundred tough resolutions by the Council of Europe,” says the opposition paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to scorn what it sees as government efforts to revive “long-forgotten” parties and their leaders and form a “third pole” that would act as an alternative to the Ter-Petrosian-led movement. “The forces talking about [the support of] an overwhelming majority of people barely won, even according to official results, 2-3 percent of the vote between them in the last two national elections,” says the paper.
“Hraparak” criticizes this approach to the emergence of a new political camp as “intolerant” and “maximalist.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” urges former President Robert Kocharian to sue Ter-Petrosian and another opposition leader, David Shahnazarian, for their “slanderous” criticism of his policies. “If they have objective facts, they must substantiate and prove their accusations or else be held accountable for public slander,” says the pro-Kocharian paper.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports on the trial going on in the southern town of Yeghegnadzor of Aghasi Mkrtchian, who headed one of Ter-Petrosian’s campaign offices during the 2008 presidential race. The disabled war veteran was arrested in early March, initially on charges of participating in the Yerevan riots. Prosecutors subsequently dropped the charges and accused Mkrtchian of handing out vote bribes.