(Saturday, December 27)
In a year-end editorial “Aravot” says the Armenian opposition led by Levon Ter-Petrosian is wrong to claim that the overwhelming majority of Armenians support it. The paper believes that the Armenian public is roughly equally split into three categories supporting the government, sympathizing with the opposition and rejecting both rival camps as “the same rubbish.” “This situation would have been normal had the three thirds not doubted the legitimacy of the presidential election held this year and had there been no mutual hatred bordering on animosity between the first two groups,” it says, adding that Armenian security forces are chiefly to blame for that hatred.
President Serzh Sarkisian’s brother Levon, who is Armenia’s ambassador to Algeria and Tunisian, tells “Hraparak” that “quite a few things” have improved in the country since last spring. “Nothing has changed in my personal life,” he says. “There have been quite a few positive changes in the country’s life. I mean international relations.” Levon Sarkisian also says that he has no desire to be involved in domestic politics. “In Armenia people confuse politics with I don’t know what,” he explains.
Psychologist Karine Nalchajian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the post-election violence in Armenia had not only “severe consequences” for the population. “The deteriorated social conflict also performed a positive function,” she says. “It made people sober up, enabling them to cast a new, fresh look at things. It is evident that by sobering up the people showed that they have great potential and want to be the masters of their fate. The people woke up, which creates grounds [for the government] to reckon with the people.”
“Azg” editorializes that Armenia will face three key challenges in 2009: alleviating the effects of the global economic crisis, displaying a “creative approach” to a pro-Armenian resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and becoming “extremely radical” in strengthening democracy. The paper says Armenia has “huge untapped resources” to meet these challenges.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says 2008 has been “a year of the non-realization of the public’s expectations and desires, the regime’s cynicism and transcending of all limits, a year of slaughter and violence.” “At the same time 2008 has also been a year of formation of civil society,” says the pro-opposition paper. “A society that will not be daunted by any difficulty or repression and will definitely prevail.”