The weekend congress of the People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK) sent no clear message to HZhK supporters and the public in general, “Haykakan Zhamanak” and most of the other paper conclude. “It’s still unclear whether the HZhK is an opposition or pro-government party. There is now a situation where the party’s rank and file is in opposition, while the elite has lots of opportunities to take part in political intrigues.”
Ever since the death of Karen Demirchian in the 1999 parliament shootings, the HZhK has been mainly busy “playing intrigues.” And there is a growing estrangement between its leadership and ordinary members. The HZhK leadership is not averse to seeking favors from the authorities to the dismay of thousands of activists. Hence its attempts to defuse the latter’s anger with anti-presidential and anti-government statements.
“Zhamanak” similarly does not understand what the party of Stepan Demirchian is up to. While publicly “playing opposition,” the HZhK refrains from severing links with the government.
The HZhK wants greater representation in the government and at the same time stubbornly refuses to share responsibility for its policies, says “Hayots Ashkhar.” The paper concludes the commentary with a stern rebuke: “The HZhK was not founded to serve Armenia. On the contrary, Armenia was founded to serve the HZhK.”
“Iravunk” says the HZhK congress left the Miasnutyun bloc still hanging in the balance. “Comprising the alliance are parties that have diametrically opposite views on the pivotal issue of state governance.” They don’t yet seem to know what to do with what has become an “unbearable political marriage.”
For “Aravot,” the most likely reason for the impasse in Karabakh peace talks is the continuing differences between the big powers sponsoring the process. Once Russia and the United States agree on a particular peace formula for Karabakh there will be no way the Armenians and Azerbaijanis can block its implementation. The paper dismisses talk of the Armenian and Azerbaijani publics being unprepared for a peace deal, arguing that their leaders rarely take public opinion into consideration when making important decisions. It may also be that neither Heydar Aliev nor Robert Kocharian are interested in bringing an end to the Karabakh conflict for fear of losing influence or even power.
“Azg” also makes the point that it is Russia and the US that hold the key to Karabakh peace. Both nations “must at last ascertain what each of them wants.” At least for Moscow, the conflict’s settlement is not a chief priority at the moment, the paper says. The Russians are far more concerned with further improving their relations with Azerbaijan by “exploiting the Karabakh issue.”