“Zhoghovurd” notes that in his latest televised remarks aired on Thursday President Serzh Sarkisian made no mention of the ongoing nonstop street protests in Yerevan that are aimed at forcing him into resignation. “If Sarkisian thereby wanted to show that he does not take the forces affiliated with the New Armenia Public Salvation Front seriously, then he adopted an incomprehensible and artificial stance,” comments the paper. “Armenia is so small that even the presence of several thousand people in Liberty Square cannot and must not be ignored by the head of state.” It says that Sarkisian must have appealed to the protesting citizens in order to demonstrate that he cares about them.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that Sarkisian only raised more questions in the interview with Armenia’s main TV stations. The paper says he effectively renounced his earlier pledges not to seek to become prime minister or parliament speaker if Armenia adopts the parliamentary system of government.
“Hraparak” is unconvinced by Sarkisian’s assurances that his constitutional reform is meant to bring about a badly needed change of Armenia’s political system. The paper believes that the country will continue to be guided by “unwritten laws” whatever the outcome of Sunday’s constitutional referendum. It dismisses as disingenuous Sarkisian’s claims that the constitutional reform would make Armenian courts much more independent.
“Zhamanak” reports that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) underlined its lingering differences with the New Armenia Public Salvation Front at its latest rally in Yerevan held on Thursday. The HAK’s deputy chairman, Levon Zurabian, said that his party has no intention to join New Armenia’s nonstop protests. The paper says Zurabian made this clear after the New Armenia leaders again urged the HAK to join their campaign.
“Hayots Ashkhar” sees “absolute panic” in the radical opposition’s ranks. “On the one hand, they fail to rally more than 500-600 people,” writes the pro-presidential paper. “On the other hand, the worsening weather conditions are making nonstop protests impossible. You can’t achieve regime change in that way. It is obvious that they need to urgently change their tactic.”