“Zhamanak” says the arrest of presidential candidate Vartan Sedrakian could lead the main opposition hopeful, Raffi Hovannisian, to accuse the Armenian authorities of trying to deflect public attention from his post-election protests. The paper believes that the arrest itself cannot remain in the public spotlight for long but it should be followed by other “interesting developments” on the political arena because “it would be naïve to think that Vartan Sedrakian was behind the attempt on the life of Paruyr Hayrikian.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” has no doubts that Armenia’s Constitutional Court will reject Hovannisian’s appeal against the official results of the February 18 presidential election. The paper expects that after the court ruling the Armenian authorities will stop sanctioning rallies held by Hovannisian. “In that case, any rally will be declared illegal and the police will simply disperse it,” it says. “Just because the [opposition] demonstrators are peaceful and nice does not mean that the police will renounce violence.”
Hovannes Igitian, a prominent opposition politician affiliated with Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Hraparak” that Hovannisian’s campaign of protests will not die down. Igitian sees “widespread resentment” in the country. “One thing is clear to the people: they can’t live like this anymore because we are headed to destruction,” he says. “That discontent is not spread by Raffi. It comes from the bottom. Raffi Hovannisian is simply saying what the people say: we need a new life.” Igitian also disagrees with those who think that Hovannisian lacks a plan of concrete actions. Fighting against the government is not just about rallying people in the street, he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Hovannisian is “intensively” looking for allies. “Without much success so far,” writes the paper, adding that Hovannisian is now trying to win time with actions such as the appeal to the Constitutional Court.