“Zhamanak” thinks that campaigning for the next national elections has already started in Armenia, saying that the polls may well be held earlier than expected. “Talking about pre-election tactics is becoming more and more common in the political arena,” says the paper. “Even the Republican Party (HHK) … is reacting very nervously to, for example, the news that Dashnaktsutyun has started fighting for the opposition electorate.” But, it says, it is not yet known what will be at the heart of the “pre-election agenda.”
Interviewed by “Hraparak,” the HHK’s deputy chairman and parliamentary leader, Galust Sahakian, says former President Robert Kocharian currently has no political team of his own. “Usually the term ‘political force’ applies to open politics involving public statements,” says Sahakian. “I see no such trends.” He also notes the fact that Kocharian has not publicly expressed an intention to get involved in the “electoral political process.”
Aram Safarian, a senior member of another governing party, Prosperous Armenia (BHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Turkey has exploited its normalization diplomacy with Armenia to gain an “authoritative say” in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. “All other issues have been of secondary importance to it,” claims Safarian. “In that sense, the [normalization] process has indeed enter a deadlock, and President Serzh Sarkisian has definitely made a correct evaluation of the existing situation.” He says the process will remain deadlocked until Turkey faces strong “diplomatic pressure” from Western powers. “Right now I see no possibility of such pressure from the United States and the European Union.”
Armen Rustamian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), is quoted by “Aravot” as saying that the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has at least taken note of the latest stand-off between riot police and opposition activists. Rustamian criticizes the police justification for not allowing activists of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) to enter Yerevan’s Liberty Square. He says the square is a public area where everyone can walk at any moment.
“Zhamanak” reports that the Russian news agency Regnum posted on its website on Tuesday an extensive “report” on the sociopolitical situation in Armenia which it said was “presented to the highest echelons of power in the Russian Federation” by unspecified authors in early 2009. The document warns of the threat of renewed war in Nagorno-Karabakh which it says could lead the Armenian military and interior troops to pledge allegiance to opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian. It also claims that Moscow would not support Kocharian’s possible return to active politics.