“It appears that it would take a little spark to turn public discontent [with the socioeconomic situation in Armenia] into mass protests,” editorializes “Yerkir.” “What happened in Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and other countries should have presumably compelled our authorities to urgently change their socioeconomic policies and, most importantly, the social-political environment so that the danger of an upheaval is at least reduced. However, the authorities keep trying to collect more taxes than they did before the economic crisis without policy changes.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” dismisses criticism of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian coming from different political camps. The pro-Ter-Petrosian paper believe that the debate over the renewed opposition demonstrations in Yerevan should have centered on the following questions. “Is it worth trying to do a revolution at this moment? Is it better to mobilize forces and achieve pre-term elections by means of elections?” The paper also says that opposition supporters in Armenia should not count on Western support.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that many Armenian parties are often quick to put aside their ideology and not care about what voters think of that. The paper says that this is what happened with several opposition parties in late 2007 when they chose to back Ter-Petrosian after his dramatic political comeback.
Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Kapital” that Armenian security agencies are “neutral and not politicized.” “Especially in recent months, the police have protected the opposition more than us,” claims Zohrabian. “They have negotiated with each other, let the opposition into Liberty Square, something which we did not even know beforehand. It was one of the manifestations of civil society when the police allowed the opposition to enter Liberty Square without the municipality’s permission.” Zohrabian also makes the point that a dialogue between the government and the opposition is “necessary for the country’s development.”
“Hraparak” is unconvinced by increased government attention to Armenian villagers and their problems, scoffing at Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s visits to rural areas. The paper dismisses that as a gimmick.