Gagik Melikian, a deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will struggle to win seats in the next National Assembly. “I think the HAK should confess to its sympathizers that the lavish promises given so far have proved to be quite far from its power and reality,” says Melikian. He says HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies have finally realized that they cannot achieve regime change through street protests. He also predicts that the HAK will stop demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation soon in order to “avoid its final destruction.”
Petros Makeyan, the leader of a one of the small parties aligned in the HAK, assures “Aravot” that at least 70 percent of Armenians are unhappy with their government. “The challenge is to strike a chord with those masses so that least half of the disaffected people come to the square,” he says. Makeyan admits that attendance at HAK rallies has fallen since last spring but downplays this fact, saying that the opposition campaign will continue. “All regimes have an end and the Armenian regime is no exception,” adds the oppositionist.
In an interview with “Irates de facto,” Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, launches a veiled attack on the HAK, speaking of opposition forces that make “sectarian and cocky statements” and create “the illusion of real work.” “The people are increasingly indifferent to and alienated from those forces,” says Hovannisian.
“Zhamanak” claims that President Sarkisian will likely face “internal political complications” during a visit to Moscow scheduled for the second half of this month. The pro-HAK paper says his talks with the Russian leaders will help to clarify “what Robert Kocharian will be doing during the parliamentary elections” and how the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) of Gagik Tsarukian will contest the 2012 polls.
“Yerkir” scoffs at human rights ombudsman Karen Andreasian’s concerns over the increased number of libel suits brought against media outlets. The paper points out that Andreasian initiated strongly defended legal amendments widely blamed for the court cases before asking Armenia’s Constitutional Court to decide whether or not they are unconstitutional. “In effect, ombudsman Andreasian is acknowledging that his own initiative is not quite good,” it says.