“Aravot” says that Armenia’s leadership and opposition have started a new war of words ahead of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s next rally in Yerevan. “The authorities will declare that they are not afraid of any rallies but will still block roads leading to Yerevan and then shamelessly deny that,” says the paper. It says Armenia’s rival political factions have been “acting within the bounds of rigid stereotypes” for the past 16 years. “The only fresh thing about the situation is that roles have been somewhat swapped. What the former opposition was saying about the former government is now being directed by the latter at the current authorities.”
Opposition leader Levon Zurabian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that “in all likelihood” Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation will be the main demand of Ter-Petrosian and other rally speakers. Zurabian argues that Sarkisian’s government has failed to satisfy international bodies’ demands relating to the post-election political situation in Armenia.
“Golos Armenii” says the opposition parties that have agreed to join Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) will lose their independence. “No matter how much HAK ideologues say that the participants of the new political format will retain their independence, it is evident that this is not the case,” says the paper.
According to “Hraparak,” the Armenian authorities understand the seriousness of the warnings issued by the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). “It can’t be said that they are doing nothing to create an illusion of compliance with the Council of Europe demands,” says the paper. “However, the recent visits [to Yerevan] by high-ranking Council of Europe officials showed that that structure is not that naïve and not satisfied by Serzh Sarkisian’s half-measures. Of course, they [the Council of Europe] can wait, but only if they see that our authorities have a big desire to correct their mistakes and are not going to deceive, dupe and mislead.”
“We political prisoners do not trust in the independence, impartiality and objectivity of the special commission investigating the events of March 1-2 that was formed by the ruling coalition.” “Hayots Ashkhar” carries a scathing commentary on this statement. “What else should the commission do to make them happy?” it asks. “Every week groups of commission members diligently visit detention centers, spend hours in prison cells, take statements made by ‘political prisoners’ at face value and convey their complaints to the public.”