Artsvik Minasian, a senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), assures “Iravunk” that the leadership of his party is not divided on the question of how to deal with the opposition led by Levon Ter-Petrosian. “I think there are and there will be no differences within Dashnaktsutyun,” he says, adding that the party’s top leaders are not against a dialogue with the opposition. Minasian says Ter-Petrosian and his HHSh party remain “ideological rivals of Dashnaktsutyun.” “The issue of whether or not Dashnaktsutyun should join the opposition was not and will not be discussed because Dashnaktsutyun has coalition priorities stemming from Armenia’s state security,” he says.
However, a parliament deputy from the governing Republican Party (HHK), Armen Ashotian, tells “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” that there are disagreements among Dashnaktsutyun’s leaders and ordinary members. Ashotian also claims that the results of confidential opinion polls conducted by Dashnaktsutyun are “not quite encouraging for my colleagues.” “So I personally understand but don’t accept their stance and behavior,” he says.
Aram Sarkisian, the leader of the radical opposition Hanrapetutyun party, claims in an “Aravot” interview that the formation of the Ter-Petrosian-led Armenian National Congress (HAK) will leave the country in “diarchy.” He says it is therefore wrong to call the HAK an opposition force. “In essence, it belongs to the public,” continues Sarkisian. “A public that has not come to terms with the rigged results of the presidential elections.” He also says that many opposition supporters joining the HAK these days have not been affiliated with any party in the past. “I am convinced that the number of Congress members will surpass 300,000 by September 5,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s decision on whether or not to arrive in Yerevan for the September 6 football match between Armenia’s and Turkey’s national soccer teams depends on “numerous factors,” including the Turkish-Azerbaijani relationship and possible Western pressure on Ankara. The paper cites some Turkish analysts as saying that Gul will not accept President Serzh Sarkisian’s invitation unless Armenia changes its policy on the genocide issue and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that police in the central Kotayk region have confirmed that two men serving prison sentences were caught red-handed while committing a theft on July 16. The paper wonders how the prison inmates were allowed to leave Yerevan’s Nubarashen prison in the first place.
“Hraparak” condemns government plans to double the volume of water pumped out of Armenia’s Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes. The Armenian parliament will meet on Monday to discuss the measure. The paper dismisses as “ludicrous” government claims that hot weather has left farmers in the southern Ararat Valley are in desperate need of more irrigation water. “Every Armenian would agree that this year is not different from the previous ones [weather-wise,]” it says in an editorial. The paper says the real purpose of the measure is to lower Sevan’s water level and help coastal hotels and other businesses belonging to government-linked persons “earn as much money as possible during the summer season.”