(Saturday, October 15)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” expects the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) to have a “weighty presence” in Armenia’s next parliament to be elected in May 2012. The pro-HAK daily also sees growing tensions within the government camp and the possibility of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) quitting the ruling coalition. It says those tensions bode well for the success of the HAK’s regime change drive.
“Yerkir,” however, speaks of a “yet another vacuum” on the Armenian political stage. “The failure of the HAK exposed the fact that past methods of consolidating the society no longer work,” writes the paper. “Primitive demands for pre-term elections or regime change are no longer seen as means of achieving deep changes.” It says Armenians can now see that the HAK is fighting for power, rather than for those changes, and are therefore increasingly indifferent to the opposition bloc. “The society now doesn’t care whether those changes will be effected by the authorities, the opposition or the international community,” it concludes.
Pollster Gevorg Poghosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the HAK’s strategy of political struggle is “much more complex” than many people think and that its most recent actions must not be dismissed as outright failure. Poghosian says that in the last three years Levon Ter-Petrosian’s bloc has become “the sole serious opposition force” in Armenia. “It is not accidental that the authorities have not held negotiations with any other political force,” he says. “The HAK has managed to monopolize the opposition camp.”
“Zhamanak” reports that Tigran Karapetian, a politician and the owner of the ALM TV station taken off the air in January, has unexpectedly decided to join the HAK. “Today the HAK is the only force which is fighting against injustice and I believe that there are many, many just people in the HAK. That is why I decided to join them.” Karapetian also tries to rationalize his past criticism of the alliance and Ter-Petrosian in particular.
Interviewed by “Hraparak,” Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Gasparian angrily defends claims that Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian is too weak to stop non-combat deaths of Armenian soldiers. “Do you think that a person who fought the enemy can be weak?” he asks. “Those who call him weak are probably themselves puppies. That is why they talk like puppies.”