(Saturday, February 28)
Writing ahead of their March 1 rally, “168 Zham” wonders who Levon Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian National Congress (HAK) will hold primarily responsible for the March 2008 bloodshed in Yerevan: Serzh Sarkisian or Robert Kocharian? The paper notes that the HAK laid the blame on Kocharian before embarking on close cooperation with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).
“Zhoghovurd” says that there has been a “revolution in the minds of Armenia’s citizens” since March 1, 2008. “There is no doubt that the change in people’s mindsets will one day also change their lives and help Armenia become a democratic and prosperous country,” writes the paper. It says the “process” that began seven years ago with the deaths of ten people in central Yerevan must be completed.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that the Armenian authorities have still not identified and punished those who ordered and committed the March 2008 killings. “The law-enforcement system is probably the only segment of Armenia that does not know the answer to this question,” writes the paper. “Every citizen of Armenia knows that in 2008 Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian falsified a presidential election and then used firearms, with the help of the army and criminal groups, to suppress a civil movement against the vote rigging at the cost of ten Armenian lives.” The March 2008 was “one of the most heroic and at the same time disgraceful pages” in Armenia’s post-Soviet history, it says.
“In essence, nothing has changed [since March 2008,]” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “The authorities, the problems and popular discontent with the authorities have remained the same.” In that context, the paper defends Ter-Petrosian’s HAK against criticism voiced by other opposition forces, saying that the latter are not even attempting to take on the ruling regime with street protests. It also says that popular support, rather than financial or other material resources, is key to the success of any opposition campaign in the country.