(Saturday, August 3)
“The process of dialogue [between the government and the opposition HAK] is a result in itself, even if it doesn’t have a logical continuation or if the process drags on for a while,” Artak Davtian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Aravot.” Davtian says that while it would be good for the two sides to reach “some agreements,” Armenia’s governing coalition will not bow to “ultimatums” issued by the HAK. He compares the opposition bloc with a “capricious child” and says that the coalition is acting like a caring parent who is doing his best to keep the child happy.
“Hraparak” wonders why the coalition is not publicizing a 135-page document meant to disprove the HAK case for the holding of fresh presidential and parliamentary elections. The paper quotes Davit Harutiunian, head of a coalition team negotiating with HAK representatives, as saying that the document is not confidential and will be made public after his delegation finishes presenting it to the opposition bloc. “In effect, if the government-HAK dialogue is discontinued, the Armenian public will not know the authorities’ arguments against pre-term elections,” comments the paper.
Armen Rustamian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Aravot” that his party is very skeptical about coalition calls for Armenia’s leading political forces to work out “rules for civilized competition” among them in the next national elections. Rustamian argues that the pro-government majority in the National Assembly rejected key anti-fraud amendments that were drafted by Dashnaktsutyun earlier this year. “Having said that, we are in favor of any cooperation that would help to increase political forces’ and the public’s control of elections,” he says.
“Zhamanak” accuses the government and the Central Bank of failing to deliver on their pledges to rein in inflation and even lower the cost of life in Armenia. The pro-opposition downplays price decreases reported by the authorities in July and August as seasonal phenomena and says that the prices of some products such as meat and sugar have actually risen significantly in recent weeks. “So the oligopolies and monopolies are managing the economy according to their plans,” it claims.