“Iravunk” says the Armenian president intends to foist a “choice between the existing and reformed Kocharian’s” upon his fellow citizens and the upcoming spring will see mounting political tensions. The authorities will create the following dilemma for everybody: “you are with us or against us.” “The times of black and white are returning,” the pro-opposition paper concludes grimly.
The Dashnaktsutyun weekly “Yerkir” warns of the dangers of a loss of public faith in justice. But it says “injustice can last for a certain period, even for decades, but not forever,” calling on the people to believe in the future of their country. “It is time for everybody to realize that public tolerance, civic consciousness and national solidarity are based on public justice.”
“We are for the abolition of the death penalty if the state ensures all favorable moral and economic conditions for the development of our society,” writes “Zhamanak,” the newspaper of the governing Republican Party. The paper is worried that the absence of capital punishment could lead to “impunity” and “anarchy.” It also says it is “ridiculous” to regard the October 27 massacre in the parliament as a high treason. The Armenian state, after all, has come out well of the crisis.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) is rumored to be planning to put forward former prime minister Armen Sarkisian as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections. A British-based millionaire who was close to the former authorities, Vache Manukian, is said to be ready to finance Sarkisian’s campaign. The paper sympathetic to President Kocharian says Sarkisian’s return to power is backed by “some circles in the West” interested in a pro-Azerbaijani solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It notes triumphantly that the alleged HHSh plan of regaining power stands no chance of success not least because it runs counter to Russia’s interests in the region.