“168 Zham” claims that with his declaration that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is not an opposition Gagik Tsarukian “politically destroyed” Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). The paper says that Tsarukian showed that Ter-Petrosian has been badly mistaken in hoping to capitalize on the BHK’s disagreements with President Serzh Sarkisian. “Tsarukian did that very skillfully,” it says. “Making no public statements during long-running HAK attempts to turn the BHK into an opposition force, he made only one brief statement after the end of an electoral cycle.” Tsarukian proved that he is a “much more sensible and calculating politician” than Ter-Petrosian, according to “168 Zham.”
“Zhamanak” quotes Aragats Akhoyan, a parliament deputy from the BHK, as dismissing HAK representative Levon Zurabian’s claims that Tsarukian’s party is a de facto opposition. He says Tsarukian’s statement should be taken at face value. “If Mr. Tsarukian is saying that the BHK cannot be in opposition, then I cannot fail to accept this statement as a basis,” adds Akhoyan. “Many people would probably love to see the BHK in the opposition camp. But as we have said, we are an alternative [to the government] and will remain true to our decision because we have no other decision yet.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” carries an interview with Karapet Rubinian, one of the veteran opposition politicians who are trying to revive the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh). Rubinian says that the new HHSh will have no single leader and will be financed not by a handful of persons but from membership fees paid by its members. “They all must feel equal masters of their party, which would create conditions for a real inner-party competition,” he says. Rubinian says Ter-Petrosian was right to say that the HHSh has been very passive in the past decade when he advocated its incorporation into the HAK earlier this year. “But Ter-Petrosian, who stayed silent for ten years, shares much of the blame for that,” says Rubinian.
Armen Martirosian, a deputy chairman of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Aravot” that the Armenian authorities’ decision to drastically raise gas prices was a “totally political” one. He says that the authorities waited until the May 5 municipal elections in Yerevan to announce the price hikes “so that people taking vote bribes do not know that inflation will soon be so high that they should have been paid $10,000, rather than 10,000 drams, to survive.”