Former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian tells “168 Zham” that Armenia’s main opposition parties should realize that their chief challenge is to “create political checks and balances in the next elections.” “Or else, as a result of the next elections, we will again have a National Assembly with an absolute [pro-government] majority,” he warns. “Today the biggest problem in the Republic of Armenia is the political monopoly. Unless we fail to eliminate it, it will be impossible for us to address other -- socioeconomic, political and democratic -- problems.” Oskanian believes that it does not matter who is responsible for the emergence of these problems.
“Zhamanak” quotes Davit Shahnazarian, a former national security minister now affiliated with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), as rebutting verbal attacks from Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian. Shahnazarian says he no longer headed Armenia’s National Security Service when Hovannisian and other Dashnaktsutyun members were arrested and prosecuted on controversial coup charges in 1995. The former KGB was headed by Serzh Sarkisian at the time, he says. “Vahan Hovannisian continues to closely cooperate with Serzh Sarkisian, whereas his criminal comrades, whom I arrested in 1994, are still in prison,” adds Shahnazarian.
Deputy parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan tells “Aravot” that there is nothing wrong with holding rallies in Yerevan’s Liberty Square that “do not contain a violation of the law.” “But if the square is used for attempting to lead further processes to undesirable consequences for our state, then the state is definitely obliged to take steps against that right from the beginning,” he says. Nikoyan describes as “very interesting” recriminations traded by the HAK and other opposition forces. “I think that’s a fight not for the square but for leadership within the opposition,” he says.
Speaking to “Yerkir,” Giro Manoyan, a senior member of Dashnaktsutyun, says Armenia must formally withdraw its signature from the normalization agreements with Turkey before the April 24 commemoration of the Armenian genocide. Manoyan argues that President Serzh Sarkisian himself has stated that Ankara killed the normalization process. He says the existing situation is very beneficial for Turkey because the latter “has gotten what it hoped to get without giving up anything.” Manoyan says a formal annulment of the protocols would also make it harder for U.S. President Barack Obama to again avoid using the word genocide in his April 24 statement.