“Already in October last year it became evident that the broad public masses not only agreed to the notion of Levon Ter-Petrosian being a political alternative [to Armenia’s leadership] but to the realization of the prolonged Armenian revolution,” writes “Azg.” “If the authorities are responsible for the bloody March events [in Yerevan,] then responsibility for the failed Armenian revolution of March 1 lies with Levon Ter-Petrosian and the leaders of the parties supporting him.” The paper says the Armenian authorities can defuse lingering political tensions by freeing “political prisoners,” respecting civil liberties, making an objective evaluation of the March 1 clashes, combating corruption and ending the atmosphere of impunity in the country.
Arman Musinian, a spokesman for Ter-Petrosian, tells “Hraparak” that the opposition alliance is ready to engage in dialogue with the authorities on “large-scale democratic reforms” if they release all political prisoners.
Political analyst Manvel Sargsian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the only change felt by Armenians under the administration of President Serzh Sarkisian is a “rise in the overall criminalization” of political and public life. “People have clearly seen that in the past six or seven months,” he says. “Who has noticed other changes? Nobody.”
“Aravot” quotes human rights activist Vartan Harutiunian as saying that Armenian officials are wrong to emphasize the non-binding character of reports by the Council of Europe and other international bodies critical of the Yerevan government. “They don’t realize that one day … the European community will not put up with all this: murders, trumped-up criminal cases, human rights violations,” says Harutiunian.
“Hayots Ashkhar” defends its recent revelations of the wiretapped phone conversations of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and his presidential election campaign manager, Aleksandr Arzumanian. “The wiretaps caused real panic within the revolutionary elite,” says the pro-government paper. It claims that Arzumanian personally coordinated the opposition actions after the dispersal of the non-stop opposition protest in Yerevan’s Liberty Square.
“From time to time Serzh Sarkisian states that Armenia should live in an Armenian world,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “In practice, this means that those who invest in Armenia and whose who visit Armenia as tourists must be mostly Armenians and that Armenia must mainly export cognac and apricots intended for the Diaspora. This is the same principle of ghetto, albeit on a global scale. It is certainly possible to survive in this way for some time. But any ghetto eventually ceases to exist.”