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Press Review


(Saturday, October 1)

“Hraparak” tries to understand the timing of a new campaign of nonstop demonstrations launched by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) on Friday. “Perhaps it was no longer possible [for HAK leaders] to resist the wishes of people calling for struggle and demanding immediate regime change,” writes the paper. “Perhaps this is the last chance. After all, only seven or eight months are left before the [parliamentary] elections.”

“Zhamanak” says the HAK is telling the authorities that despite its readiness for mutual compromise it can opt for more radical actions that cannot be deemed unconstitutional. The pro-opposition daily says the HAK is thus also increasing “the influence of the public factor on internal political processes.” It says this will complicate former President Robert Kocharian’s efforts to return to government.

“Yerkir” believes that most Armenians never had any expectations from the government-HAK dialogue because they were “isolated from the process.” “Such a dialogue was a failed attempt to clarify the relationship between two political forces, rather than defuse tensions within the society,” says the paper. “Responsibility for that failure rests only with the forces involved in that process.”

“168 Zham” says that the authorities are unlikely to disperse the Liberty Square demonstrations. The paper notes that the six-day period of demonstrations set by the HAK on Friday will end on the eve of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Armenia. “So the around-the-clock rally held in Yerevan could become a good propaganda backdrop for the authorities,” it says.

“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” claims that Serzh Sarkisian has failed to overcome a “crisis of legitimacy” created by the 2008 presidential election. “The society’s patience may one day snap and even the strongest opposition would be unable to prevent the people’s fury,” says the pro-opposition daily.

“Azg” reports that the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan advised American citizens to stay away from Liberty Square on Friday. This, speculates the paper, means that the embassy knew that Ter-Petrosian will launch non-stop demonstrations there.

(Tigran Avetisian)
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