“Yerkir” comments on opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s declaration that rallies held by his Armenian National Congress (HAK) are turning into “a sort of forum for the public’s self-rule.” “This statement is a clear initiative to form an alternative, street government and rally the society around it,” writes the paper. It says Ter-Petrosian is thereby “prodding the public to resort to civil disobedience.” “The latter is not an anti-state phenomenon in itself, if it is directed not against state authority but forces wielding power levers,” concludes the paper.
“Aravot” is disappointed that the demands voiced by Ter-Petrosian have not really been discussed by the country’s political class. “Representatives of the Republican Party were immediately hurt by being talked to in a language of ultimatums,” editorializes the paper. But, it says, that is not quite an ultimatum. Ter-Petrosian simply suggested a way out for the authorities: “take certain steps and negotiate on pre-term elections.” Yet the authorities seem confident that the socioeconomic situation in Armenia is not that severe and that there will be no unrest in the country, according to “Aravot.”
Armen Martirosian, a leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Irates de facto” that the new coalition agreement signed by President Serzh Sarkisian and his allies does not preclude former President Robert Kocharian’s return to government. “If Robert Kocharian wants to return to active politics, he can do that at any moment,” says Martirosian. “The coalition declaration doesn’t matter.” Martirosian says the only realistic way to prevent Kocharian’s comeback is to punish those who masterminded and carried out the March 2008 crackdown on the opposition and to “liberalize the government system and economy.” “The declaration is only a certificate for preserving a small clique of rulers, and does not even extend to the existing parliament. I don’t think that Robert Kocharian is beyond that clique,” he says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that representatives of Gazprom and the Armenian government are continuing to negotiate on the price of Russian gas for Armenia despite agreement announced by Sarkisian after his February 25 meeting with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev. “The fact is that Gazprom is denying Armenian government claims that an agreement was reached on the price of gas supplied to Armenia,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” expresses concern about rising consumer prices, saying that inflation in Armenia is now higher than in traditionally high-inflation countries like Russia and Ukraine. “The rises in food prices over the past year have approached the 20 percent mark,” reports the paper.