“Aravot” reports that organizers of the bullfights on Friday could not keep their promise that none of the Spanish bulls will be killed in Yerevan. One of the bulls managed to break out of the corrida arena surrounded by railings before being shot dead by a police officer. The authorities say the “mad” animal posed a threat to thousands of unprotected spectators at the Vazgen Sarkisian Stadium.
In another report, “Aravot” condemns the arrest late on Friday of one of the organizers of an anti-ArmenTel demonstration, Petros Makeyan, which turned violent earlier in the day. The authorities thus use “violence” to respond to a growing public disaffection with their policies. A correspondent for “Haykakan Zhamanak” had his camera snatched and taken away by the baton-wielding police as they clashed with the protesters.
“The authorities are losing their nerve,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “They are now sending the police against the people.” The paper reports that participants of Friday’s unsanctioned demonstration were joined by delegates of the Hanrapetutyun party’s congress as they marched to the presidential palace.
Even the pro-presidential “Hayots Ashkhar” blames the interior ministry forces for the violence, saying that they “only fanned tensions which were already running high.” Turning to the Hanrapetutyun congress and the anti-Kocharian statement by the three opposition parties, the paper, predictably, condemns the developments. “The same baseless accusations, the same narcissistic stance and, of course, the old arguments in support of them coming to power.” The purpose of the opposition attack was to “disrupt the country’s normal life” and weaken the government.
“Yerkir” says the opposition leaders stand no chance of success first of all because they will never agree on who should replace Kocharian. At least four of them would like to get the post. The paper at the same time berates the authorities for their role in the continuing ArmenTel saga. First, they have little knowledge of international economic relations. And second, they lack the will and professionalism to “struggle for the interests of our country and people.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that Kocharian was uncharacteristically “restrained” in his comments on the Armenian opposition in an interview with readers of the Russian online newspaper GazetaSNG.ru. At least he did not use derogatory terms when referring to his opponents. “Either he was impressed with the unification of the opposition or just realized that his answers are meant not only for Armenians.”