“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the number of people attending opposition rallies in Yerevan’s Liberty Square will be the decisive factor in further political developments in Armenia. The paper says the next steps by the opposition Armenia National Congress (HAK) depend on attendance at those rallies.
“Aravot” believes that if the Armenian authorities accept the HAK demands for early elections they will score “a much more convincing ‘victory’ than in the last few elections.” “The word victory is put in quotation marks because election results will be falsified in any case,” editorializes the paper. “But that will be done in a bureaucratic-fraudulent, rather than violent, way. The authorities will do everything to avoid violence and clashes.” It says the HAK and other opposition forces will be defeated in that way because “nobody except the three governing parties seriously prepares for elections.”
Interviewed by “Zhoghovurd,” Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), denies business interests attributed to him by the HAK and pro-opposition media. Sahakian at the same time defends parliament deputies’ right to own businesses. “I don’t think that shareholders have fewer rights than ordinary citizens,” he says. “Everyone has equal rights. And I don’t think that people having private properties love their state and homeland less than others.”
“Hraparak” reports that in its latest report the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has said that torture and other forms of police brutality remain a serious problem in Armenia. “Nothing changes in the country after those reports,” the paper quotes Mikael Danielian of the Armenian Helsinki Association as saying. “They correspond to reality, but our authorities, confident about their impunity, don’t give a damn about such reports.” Danielian says this stance will eventually backfire and get the authorities in Yerevan in serious trouble.
The online journal 1in.am criticizes President Serzh Sarkisian’s policy towards the Armenian Diaspora. “Putting aside the idea of state and putting forward the notion of ‘the Armenian world,’ the authorities have tried to make the concept of state interests fuzzy and gradually form the concept of the Armenian world,” writes the pro-opposition publication.