“The situation in Armenia is now revolutionary not because the last elections were rigged and those responsible for the March 1 crime have not been brought to justice and so on but because the socioeconomic situation in the country is unbearable,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “People are literally unable to make the ends meet and there is no faith in the future.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Lernik Aleksanian, a deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as saying that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) is in fact preparing for regular parliamentary elections and is anxious “not to lose its electorate.” “The last rally demonstrated that that is an uphill task for the HAK,” claims Aleksanian. “The Congress today cannot return to the intolerance of 2008, to the confrontational positions, because the protest potential is no longer concentrated in one place and there are virtually no undecided public groups.” Aleksanian also assures the paper that the Armenian authorities have drawn “necessary conclusions” and that there will be no repeat of the March 2008 unrest.
Another HHK parliamentarian, Galust Sahakian, tells “168 Zham” that the HAK is trying to “win time.” Sahakian expresses hope that the opposition bloc will after all resume negotiations with the Armenian government. “Especially given that it’s a pre-election year,” he says. “That will help to make the people’s orientation clearer.”
“Zhamanak” says that the resignation of Karen Karapetian, President Serzh Sarkisian’s new chief of staff, is a significant development within the government camp. “The thing is that while being weak as chief of staff, Karen Karapetian was strong in the overall government camp and expanded his political influence through other channels,” explains the paper. “Therefore, his resignation was primarily a blow to those channels. Notably the so-called interim wing of the Republican Party.” These are mainly individuals who joined the HHK in 2006-2007, after Serzh Sarkisian took over the party, says the paper.
Avet Adonts, the Armenian ambassador in Brussels, tells “Aravot” that the European Commission will this week formally give the green light for the start of negotiations with Armenia on the facilitation of visa requirements for Armenians travelling to European Union countries. “But we started de facto negotiations much earlier,” says Adonts. “We just need to complete the formal part.”