“Zhoghovurd” says that harsh prison sentences given to four young activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) this month were unexpected. The paper believes that the court verdicts were ordered from President Serzh Sarkisian’s administration on the basis of “some political calculations.” It says the authorities are desperate to prevent a consolidation of opposition forces. “In this case, it was probably hard to explicitly assert that the HAK youths are totally innocent and 100 percent political prisoners,” explains the paper. “The situation is not unequivocal here and they in the opposition camp are very well conscious of that. Therefore, one could predict that there will be no uniform opposition reaction to the development. The rift between the HAK and other opposition forces thus widened by several centimeters or meters.”
Davit Shahnazarian, a prominent opposition politician who recently left the HAK, says the opposition bloc led by Levon Ter-Petrosian as well as the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Dashnaktsutyun parties might field a joint presidential election candidate who would not represent a genuine alternative to Serzh Sarkisian. Shahnazarian says this “troika” should fight not just for ousting Sarkisian but changing Armenia’s oligarchic political system.
“Hayots Ashkhar” mocks diehard HAK supporters for their unwavering faith in Ter-Petrosian. “The notion that ‘Levon knows something’ was having a magical impact on his loyalists strongly justifying any step taken by Ter-Petrosian,” writes the pro-Sarkisian daily. It claims that now even those who used to “blindly believe” in the HAK leader realize that “their leader’s political calculations have proved to be wrong.” “Some of his loyalists disagreed with the  dialogue with the authorities and most of them are now against possible HAK-BHK cooperation. Many others also hint and publicly assert that the Congress simply failed in the [May 6] parliamentary elections,” it says.
“Hraparak” claims that for middle-class Armenians it is more affordable to spend summer vacation in Spain than in their own country. “Prices in our country are very high and recreation is complete,” complains the paper. “We have neither good beaches nor good service or a multitude of entertainment.” The main reason for this, according to the paper, is that “Armenian businessmen seek to become rich and recoup their investments quickly.” “They have no desire to wait for long or draw up long-term [business] programs,” it says, adding that a lack of decent resorts in Armenia is another major factor.