“Zhamanak” says the April 9 clashes in Yerevan between police and opposition protesters could be one only of the reasons for the sacking of Nerses Nazarian, the city’s police chief. “The more so considering the fact that the police did not commit particularly serious blunders on that day to make such personnel changes necessary,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, there may been internal nuances on that day, which were visible to the [national] police chief [Vladimir Gasparian] and his circle but remained far from the public’s eyes.” It also wonders if the sacking was initiated by Gasparian or President Serzh Sarkisian.
“Hraparak” plays down Nazarian’s dismissal, saying that will have little bearing on the day-to-day lives of ordinary Yerevan residents. “People probably long for changes so much that they consider any change positive, whether it is the sacking of a police chief or condominium head,” writes the paper.
“As far as I remember, in the run-up to every election oppositionists have said that it is necessary [for the opposition] to unite, that negotiations are now in progress and so on,” writes “Aravot” editor Aram Abrahamian. “They are right in the sense that only by closing ranks and joining forces is it possible to effectively counter the state machine which is fully controlled by the government. But usually those nice wishes do not translate into concrete actions. Ambitions and infighting in the opposition camp eventually become stronger factors than a desire to achieve success.” Abrahamian believes that the forthcoming mayoral elections in Yerevan will hardly be an exception to this rule.
“Zhoghovurd” is bewildered by opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s plans to again hold rallies in Armenia’s regions. “It is evident that after April 9 [Hovannisian’s] ‘Barevolution’ has reached an impasse and Hovannisian is unlikely to succeed in getting it back on track,” editorializes the paper. “Furthermore, with this step Hovannisian is also seriously jeopardizing his Barev Yerevan bloc’s chances in the municipal elections in Yerevan.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” hits out at the opposition forces for regarding the May 5 elections as a first step towards regime change in Armenia. “If the purpose of the electoral struggle is to only snatch Yerevan [from the central government] then all the talk of developing the city and taking care of Yerevan resident’s socioeconomic needs is just hypocrisy,” says the pro-government paper.