“Aravot” is confident that the Armenian authorities will free all political prisoners next month and thus fulfill all three demands of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). “There will emerge an opportunity to negotiate, start a dialogue, agree on the forthcoming elections,” editorializes the paper. It disagrees with those government critics who condemn the HAK’s readiness to cooperate with the authorities. It argues that in civilized countries “serious political processes unfold peacefully and without shocks.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” similarly notes that “petty political forces are reacting too forcefully to the HAK-government dialogue.” “Some say the HAK is not and has never been in opposition, while others are terribly concerned that the HAK and Serzh Sarkisian can jointly cover up [the events of] March 1. There are also those who claim that if a dialogue takes place the state and the people will suffer from that. In reality, only petty parties will suffer because they will immediately find themselves on the sidelines.”
“Yerkir” says that the HAK and its leader Levon Ter-Petrosian had a much longer list of demands and abandoned all but three of them on March 17 in order to create “prerequisites for cutting a deal with the authorities.” The paper says Ter-Petrosian thereby disappointed many supporters attracted by his “regime change” pledges. That was the real “watershed” promised by Armenia’s first president. “That was the watershed between an HAK ready to make deals with the authorities and the people rallying in the square and making radical demands,” it concludes.
Commenting on President Serzh Sarkisian’s Wednesday remarks, “Hayots Ashkhar” says that an “interesting situation” has taken shape in Armenia. The pro-presidential paper sees an opportunity to “put relations between the authority and the opposition back on the natural track and develop them within a civilized and correct framework.” Sarkisian’s actions are creating a “healthy atmosphere” in the country, it says.
“Zhamanak” says Sarkisian can negotiate with the opposition as long as the state apparatus feels no threats to its positions emanating from such a dialogue. “As soon as the system sees a danger, Serzh Sarkisian will either have to quit or stop working with the opposition in a tolerant fashion or deal blows to possible sources of resistance from the system,” speculates the pro-HAK daily. “For the moment, Serzh Sarkisian seems to be succeeding in controlling the situation.”