“Zhoghovurd” claims that President Serzh Sarkisian threatened to “nip a revolution in the bud” at his news conference on Monday. Sarkisian said that if the opposition sets up “alternative power structures” law-enforcement authorities will deal with that. “In other words, he hinted that around-the-clock rallies would be forcibly suppressed just like in 2008,” says the paper. It says such a government strategy will not necessarily be effective in the long run.
“Aravot” says that while it disagrees with many of Sarkisian’s remarks at the news conference it thinks that the president is right to strongly oppose Armenia’s formal recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state, which is sought by Raffi Hovannisian. In an editorial, the paper says that such recognition would not give Armenia and Karabakh anything “in the political, economic and moral senses” and would only severely damage their rapport with the mediating powers.
“Hraparak” reports that Stepan Demirchian, whose People’s Party (HZhK) is aligned in Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK), said on Monday that the HZhK will not participate in the May 5 municipal elections in Yerevan. “We had found expedient our participation as part of a strong joint list [of candidates,]” Demirchian said. “But since that hasn’t happened, the HZhK will not take part in the elections of Yerevan’s Council of Elders. We are talking about a consolidation of the main opposition forces: Dashnaktsutyun, the BHK, the HAK and Zharangutyun.” The paper also quotes HAK coordinator Levon Zurbaian as saying that Ter-Petrosian’s bloc will unveil its list of candidates in the coming days.
“Irates de facto” says President Serzh Sarkisian appears to have satisfied both Russia and the European Union during his latest visits to Moscow and Brussels. The paper also points to a statement by a deputy chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) warning that Armenia cannot sign an Association Agreement with the EU if it joins the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Andranik Kocharian, a veteran opposition figure, comments on the impending launch of a new parliamentary inquiry into the March 2008 violence in Yerevan in an interview with “Zhamanak.” He says that the Armenian authorities simply had no choice but to agree to the formation of a relevant parliamentary commission demanded by the HAK. “If the investigating body had solved everything there would have been no need to create such commissions,” says Kocharian. “But if that doesn’t become reality no commission can make revelations.”