(Saturday, January 29)
“Although Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen are much farther away from Armenia than Georgia, mass demonstrations in those countries have aroused some hopes, as had the [Georgian] rose revolution, in some of our opposition circles,” editorializes “Aravot.” “There are indeed similarities. Like in Arab countries, people [in Armenia] are made angry by unhidden and impudent corruption. Its main consequence is extreme poverty. But the main difference between Armenia and the Arab nations is that none of the latter is in a de facto state of war with neighbors. If similar events take place here, if thousands people stay on the streets for a long time, if elements of chaos and lawlessness emerge in governance, there is no doubt that Azerbaijan will attack Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Aravot” says opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian is well aware of that and “will never resort to any step to destabilize the country.” “But that should not encourage our authorities much,” the paper adds. “If the economic and legal situation doesn’t change radically, sooner or later, another, younger, more ambitious and more irresponsible opposition leader not caring about consequences of the Tunisian scenario will emerge.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on factors which, according to opposition leader Levon Zurabian, make real opposition forces different from puppet ones. Zurabian is quoted as saying on Friday that the most important of those factors is the existence of fear on the part of the authorities.
“Most of our politicians have become political scientists,” “Hraparak” comments tartly on Zurabian’s remarks. “They analyze, assess things, make predictions. Our political parties, for their part, are engaging not in partisan activity and trying to come to power but intrigues … When you don’t engage in political or any other activity, naturally your main job is to criticize, lambaste and discredit everyone.” The paper faults Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) for “sitting and waiting for regular elections,” instead of living up to popular expectations of “real actions.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Hermine Naghdalian, a member of the Armenian delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), predicts that the PACE’s newly revived subcommittee on Karabakh will probe utterly ineffectual. “We believe that subcommittee was doomed to be moribund right from the beginning,” she says. Naghdalian argues that the panel already failed to facilitate progress in Armenian-Azerbaijani talks after it was set up in 2005.
“Zhamanak” blames the PACE’s Armenian members for the resumption of the subcommittee’s activities strongly opposed by Yerevan. The pro-opposition daily claims that the head of the Armenian parliamentary delegation in Strasbourg, Davit Harutiunian, helped Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu become PACE president a year ago and now has no moral right to complain. Besides, it says, Cavusoglu has been quite cautious on the Armenian authorities’ human rights record.