“Hraparak” attacks former President Robert Kocharian’s claims that he decided not to challenge President Serzh Sarkisian in the 2013 presidential election because they both come from Nagorno-Karabakh and are longtime partners. The paper Kocharian and his loyalists themselves had accused political opponents of seeking to drive a wedge between the Armenians of Armenia and Karabakh. It suggests that Kocharian is now keen to “refresh the current president’s Karabakh origin in the public consciousness.”
“It is noteworthy that Kocharian is differentiating between the people of Armenia and Karabakh,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “When he was president he constantly stated that it is inadmissible to drive a wedge between Armenians and Karabakhis.”
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Kocharian’s stance proves that his long-running rapport with Sarkisian is “not crumbling like a house built on sand.” “In essence, with their pronounced respectful treatment of one another and correct behavior Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian have managed to break our false stereotype that there are eternal interests, rather than eternal friends,” says the paper. It also praises Kocharian for not “gloating” about Armenia’s current economic woes and acknowledging renewed economic growth in the country.
Writing in “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Sasun Mikaelian, a prominent member of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), criticizes the political strategy of the opposition bloc’s top leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian. Mikaelian specifically blasts Ter-Petrosian’s “short-sighted flirt” with Gagik Tsarukian’s BHK and other “intrigues,” saying that they have enabled President Sarkisian to eliminate major threats to his reelection. “In effect, what the authorities have failed to do with repression, imprisonments and other crude methods in the last four years has been turned into reality by the HAK leadership within a year,” he writes. “The path to the regime’s reproduction has been thoroughly cleared.”
Armen Kharazian, a U.S.-based Armenian pundit, tells “Aravot” that the West wants to see democratization and other radical reforms in Armenia. “At the same time the West would also like to see progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Turkish-Armenian relations,” he says. “Everyone understands Armenia’s strategic constraints and limited options. But one is bewildered by Armenia’s inability to overcome at least those problems that have nothing to do with Karabakh or Turkey.”