“Zhamanak” claims that the Armenian authorities are not really worried about the prospect of opposition protests despite a stark warning issued by the national police chief, Vladimir Gasparian, over the weekend. The paper says that with their ambiguous statements and actions the four parliamentary minority parties have so far not given the authorities reason to have serious concerns. It says Gasparian’s statement and angry responses from opposition leaders are only part of a “psychological war” waged by the two rival camps. “For the moment these mutual psychological attacks do not contain practical elements that would allow one to speak of real prospects for upheaval,” it says.
“In theory, Vladimir Gasparian is certainly right,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “If some unsavory forces provoke mass riots and attempt to topple legitimate authorities, the police will have to take drastic steps. But such a hypothetical situation has nothing to do with the current political situation in Armenia. First of all, the forthcoming rallies are organized not by some coup plotters but political parties operating legally. Incidentally, in the last parliamentary elections they won more votes between them than the ruling HHK. Secondly, there is no need to provoke riots in Armenia. At least 80 percent of the population is so furious with these authorities that the situation can get out of hand at any moment. And third, there are serious doubts, to put it mildly, about the government’s legitimacy.”
Armen Martirosian, the deputy chairman of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the four parties are not too slow in mapping out their joint actions. Martirosian says that they have reached consensus on many issues. “On the contrary, prospects for the quartet’s disintegration are much dimmer than it seems,” he says. “The only point of contention is the issue of participating in constitutional reforms. As for the [joint] rally, everything is following a natural course.”
“Zhoghovurd” comments on a senior Belarusian official’s claim that there are still “issues” standing in the way of Armenia’s entry into the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. The paper portrays it as further proof of differences between Russia and Belarus and Kazakhstan. It says Armenia has no role in the ongoing behind-the-scene haggling among these three states.