Hmayak Hovannisian, a political analyst and a former parliamentarian, tells “Yerkir” that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has found itself in a “difficult situation.” Hovannisian argues that contrary to promises given to its most ardent supporters, the HAK has failed to force the Armenian authorities to call snap elections. “The HAK does not have the necessary capacity to resort to radical actions anymore,” he says. “Note that there were no opposition marches [during the HAK’s weeklong protests in Yerevan’s Liberty Square] because they lacked those human resources.”
Karine Achemian, a deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), likewise tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the number of demonstrators in Liberty Square failed to live up to the HAK’s expectations. “They wanted to give their actions great momentum but that didn’t work,” she says. “In this situation, they will naturally toughen their rhetoric in order to win over protesting citizens unhappy with the socioeconomic situation and government policies.” This is why, adds Achemian, HAK leaders are now demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s immediate resignation.
Another, more high-level HHK parliamentarian, Davit Harutiunian, is quoted by “Aravot” as saying that the stalled dialogue between the ruling coalition and the opposition alliance led by Levon Ter-Petrosian might “produce a result needed by the country.” “Unfortunately, I have the impression that right now the HAK is using the dialogue as a mere element of political struggle,” says Harutiunian. “That certainly cannot ensure a productive dialogue.
Political commentator Armen Badalian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) of businessman Gagik Tsarukian is now the most popular force within the ruling coalition. He says that the HHK, which is led by Sarkisian, will be weakened further by the BHK unless it chooses “the right strategy” before Armenia’s next parliamentary elections.
“The Armenian authorities are obviously encouraging out-migration but prefer not to talk about that openly,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “It is clear why they don’t talk. But why are they encouraging?” The opposition paper says they are thus trying to attract more cash remittances from migrant workers and ease public discontent in the country.