“What should Serzh Sarkisian do in order not to be criticized?” asks “Hraparak.” “When he declared at a high-level European forum that Armenia’s authorities have for years prepared the Armenian people for peace, that didn’t go down well with his own people. Various individuals and groups for weeks accused him of defeatism and weakness. At the [weekend] meeting with youths in Tsaghkadzor he tried to appear more self-confident and show his teeth to the enemy only to raise the Turks’ and the Azerbaijanis’ eyebrows. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning him.”
“The authorities have managed to defuse the situation with the help of the Armenian National Congress (HAK),” Hmayak Hovannisian, a political commentator and former politician, tells “Aravot.” “They have let off steam at a time when a social revolt seemed inevitable.” But this, according to Hovannisian, has spread “disillusionment and frustration” among many opposition supporters who want the HAK to make a decisive push for power. “The Congress seems to have lost that segment,” he says. “And the longer this process lasts -- the clarification of the format, then the agenda and so on -- the deeper the disappointment among the active segment [of the opposition electorate] will become.” That will only weaken the HAK’s positions in the dialogue with the government, concludes Hovannisian.
Armen Rustamian, a senior parliamentarian and a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the government and the HAK have not yet reached common ground on their “fundamental approaches.” “At this stage, everything is being done to prevent the negotiations from breaking down and to make sure that nobody is held responsible for that,” he says. Rustamian plays down the fact that government negotiators have agreed to discuss the conduct of early elections demanded by the HAK. “You can discuss any issue at the negotiation table … What matters is what they will sign or agree on in the end,” he says.
“Yerkir” looks at HAK representatives’ remarks that their next meeting with representatives of Armenia’s ruling coalition should clarify whether the dialogue can be a success. The paper says this fact suggests that “not everything in the ongoing negotiations is proceeding as smoothly as it is presented.” “And that should be considered natural because the Congress is demanding the discussion of not so much concrete issues and proposed solutions as interpretations and evaluations,” it says.