Aram Karapetian, the leader of the opposition Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party, tells “Hraparak” that the continuing bitter squabbles between the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and other opposition forces play into the government’s hands. “Instead of wrangling over who is more opposition-minded, the opposition must always have one aim: the government, criticism of the government and ultimately regime change,” he says. Karapetian claims that these opposition forces either coordinate their actions with the government or “play the authorities’ game without realizing that.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Artak Zakarian, a parliament deputy from the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), attributes the HAK’s renewed calls for an anti-government revolution to the recent events in the Arab world. Zakarian says that the reasons for anti-government sentiment in Armenia and Arab countries like Egypt are different. “Given all this, if some people pin hopes on external support or external signals, they are badly mistaken,” he says.
Another senior HHK lawmaker, Samvel Nikoyan, likewise tells “Zhamanak” that what is happening in Armenia and the Arab world are “different events” and that it is wrong to “discuss those issues on the same plane.” “These are different processes,” adds the deputy parliament speaker.
Nikoyan also stands by his earlier remark that the Armenian government has “turned the March 1 page,” unlike the radical opposition which he says is continuing to exploit the 2008 street violence in Yerevan. “They will constantly use that,” he complains. Nikoyan admits at the same time that the opposition would not have raised the matter had the authorities properly investigated the unrest.
Speaking to “Kapital,” Manana Aslamazian, a prominent media expert, comments on the latest spate of libel suits filed against Armenian newspapers critical of the government. “In my opinion, it is firstly not honorable for the plaintiff to demand, in order to defend their honor, a particular amount of money that would ruin a publication,” she says. “I would never go to court for defending my honor because in that case you automatically become the cause of a scandal, which unfortunately can not lead to anything good.”