“Aravot” says that with their “illegal, unprofessional and brutal” actions the Karabakh police have only given a publicity boost to the Founding Parliament, a small Armenian opposition group whose leaders and members tried unsuccessfully to enter Karabakh on January 31. The paper argues that the oppositionists have had no trouble touring various regions of Armenia where they have always pulled small crowds. “The crowd in Stepanakert would have been just as small,” it says in an editorial. “They would have delivered their speeches and returned to Armenia. But now the media spotlight will be focused on the Founding Parliament for some time. Some people like radical slogans and they are joining … [Founding Parliament’s] calls for smashing and breaking everything. But that segment of the political elite is quite small.”
“Even if we assume that the [Karabakh] attack squad received no orders from above and acted on its own, we will have to conclude that the Karabakh authorities do not control the situation,” writes “Hraparak.” The paper dismisses their assurances that the incident is now being investigated and that those responsible for it will be held accountable.
“Zhamanak” wonders what Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) will do if the authorities refuse to fulfill its demands relating to last Saturday’s violent attack on a BHK activist, Artak Khachatrian. The paper speculates that the BHK used the incident as an excuse to threaten to boycott sessions of the Armenian parliament. “In reality, the boycott [threat] has to do with constitutional reforms,” it says. “Serzh Sarkisian has promised to announce his decision regarding them soon.” The BHK and Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) are now trying to step up their campaign against the reforms, according to the paper.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Hovannes Sahakian, the pro-government chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on legal affairs, reiterates the authorities’ condemnation of Khachatrian’s beating. “But it is also unacceptable to unduly politicize the incident,” Sahakian says, referring to the BHK reaction. He challenges Tsarukian’s party to prove its allegations that the attack was ordered by the authorities.