In an interview with “168 Zham,” opposition leader Stepan Demirchian insists that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has not changed its strategy and objectives. Echoing statements by other the HAK leaders, Demirchian says that the HAK’s dialogue with the Armenian government can only be about the conduct of fresh elections. “I have said on numerous occasions that the best dialogue is the holding of free and fair elections,” he says.
But as Khosrov Harutiunian, a former prime minister loyal to the current Armenia, tells “Hayots Ashkhar,” everyone in Armenia now understands that the opposition demands for fresh elections are “not realistic.” He says President Serzh Sarkisian’s foreign policy has received strong international support, thereby dashing HAK hopes for strong Western pressure on Yerevan. Harutiunian believes that the Sarkisian administration is regarded by foreign powers as a “very principled, predictable and reliable partner.” “There is only one year to go before the elections, and the oppositionists, whether they like it or not, have to become participants of those political developments,” he says.
“No new ideas are visible at the moment,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Of course, that does not mean that if somebody makes a bid to create a pro-government or opposition force, all the existing ones must attack and discredit him.” The paper says that if no new political force is set up in Armenia before the next elections, people longing for change in the country should try to “fit into the old forces.” “In principle, all of the existing major political forces are able to digest such figures,” it says.
Zaruhi Postanjian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Zhamanak” that President Serzh Sarkisian should agree to be questioned by law-enforcement officials investigating the March 2008 violence in Yerevan. “At that time, he too was a high-ranking official, headed the government, supervised the police chief and the defense minister in the government,” argues Postanjian. “If Serzh Sarkisian really wants to do something for the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and all Armenians, he must start from himself,” she says.