(Saturday, August 15)
“Zhamanak” reports that Arman Babajanian, its editor-in-chief who was recently released from prison, has underwent brain surgery in an unspecified European country. “The operation lasted for more than three hours,” says the paper. “Doctors find Arman Babajanian’s current condition satisfactory. He will spend a few more days in the hospital and proceed to the United States for post-operation rehabilitation.”
“Hraparak” speculates that President Serzh Sarkisian could dissolve the National Assembly by the end of this year under pressure from not only the opposition Zharangutyun and Dashnaktsutyun parties but the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and some non-partisan parliamentarians. The paper says that could be accompanied by a fresh campaign of anti-government protests launched by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). It recalls in that regard HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s June 1 remark that no agreements with Azerbaijan or Turkey signed by Sarkisian would be considered valid by the opposition alliance.
“The international community has invested too much in Armenia’s authorities to even imagine a popular revolt that would scuttle its mission accomplished through Serzh Sarkisian’s regime,” continues “Hraparak.” It claims that the international community will therefore try to appease the HAK-led opposition by getting Sarkisian to hold snap parliamentary or even presidential elections.
“Hayk” carries an interview with Manushak Petrosian, a senior HAK member coordinating the provision of financial assistance to the families of arrested opposition supporters. “Indeed, many of the political prisoners were the only bread-winners of their families,” she says. “And it was obvious [after the events of] March 1 that the people should stand by, in the broadest sense of the word, the families of our arrested comrades. At first, many people were applying to us, wishing to support the families of political prisoners … We drew up their lists and helped to make sure that that assistance is evenly distributed to those families.”