“Zhamanak” is skeptical about the notion that political processes in Armenia must go beyond President Serzh Sarkisian and his two predecessors: Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian. The paper says it is “natural” that the three individuals dominate the country’s political life, even though this “triangle has not always existed.” “That is, when Ter-Petrosian was president the internal political picture was totally different,” writes the paper. “It was also different when Kocharian was [in power] … We have seen this so-called presidential triangle only in the past three or four years.”
Speaking to “168 Zham,” Karapet Rubinian, a dissident member of Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK), regrets a deepening rift between the HAK and Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun (Heritage) party. Rubinian believes that the two sides would have “calmed down a little” and found common ground had the media not paid so much attention to the issue. Rubinian believes that Ter-Petrosian should have welcomed Hovannisian’s hunger strike and at the same time urged the latter to join his opposition movement. “There would have been no such unfortunate retreat,” he says. “Now I think that the Congress leadership must try hard to end signs of disappointment among a section of the people.”
Aram Sarkisian, a leading HAK figure, tells “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” that the HAK’s March 17 entry into Liberty Square was a landmark event. “The current authorities are retreating, even if that retreat is slow,” he claims. “This kind of government crumbles as soon as it starts to retreat, and that gives us hope that we will achieve pre-term elections.”
Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Aravot” that there is still no dialogue between the government and the HAK. He claims the opposition realizes that the Sarkisian administration is “not a rigid regime” and is committed to genuine reforms. “Their demands do not necessarily have to be fulfilled in full,” says Zohrabian. “We too are gearing up for elections. After all, we have something to tell the public.” The political and economic results of those reforms will become visible by 2012, he adds. Zohrabian also says that the authorities no longer prevent the HAK from holding rallies in Liberty Square.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that fuel prices in Armenia have reached a “record-high level.” “Even during the Georgian-Russian war, when Armenia faced a fuel crisis because of transportation problems, petrol prices did not rise so much,” says the paper. “Nor did the fuel prices rise so much in the spring of 2008, when the international price of oil reached $150 per barrel.”