“Haykakan Zhamanak” speaks of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s possible return to active politics. The paper, sympathetic Armenia’s former leadership, says Ter-Petrosian is increasingly emerging as the main rival of the current authorities. They “realize that their four-year activities have created a belief that the 1998 change of leadership made no sense, to say the least. On the other hand, there is a public conviction that the current authorities must quit.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says in another commentary that the fugitive Vano Siradeghian’s reelection to the parliament “would prove the bankruptcy of the authorities.” “Observers believe that Siradeghian’s popularity among voters in his constituency has risen in the past three years and he will no doubt again get elected in the event of putting forward his candidacy.” The paper claims the authorities will either refuse to register him as a candidate or rig the upcoming by-elections.
“[Siradeghian’s] HHSh is sending signals to the West,” Hmayak Hovannisian, leader of the pro-presidential Agroindustrial group in the Armenian parliament, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “They are attempting to portray the current authorities and parties with nationalist orientation as advocates of war in the West and regain their lost power with the help of some Western circles.” Hovannisian also accuses those forces of seeking to turn Armenia into “an arena of Russian-American confrontation” and thereby undermine Yerevan’s “balanced” foreign policy.
“Aravot” reports that the upcoming crucial plenum of the Armenian Communist Party’s Central Committee will likely be postponed because of the poor health of its first secretary, Vladimir Darpinian, who is currently in hospital. But Darpinian’s chief Communist challenger, Vanya Mkhitarian, says “going to hospital is the old nomenklatura’s famous tactics” of weathering storms. Mkhitarian says the authorities are interested in having the Communists led by a discredited figure. He adds that Darpinian has been told by the authorities to withdraw from a recently formed alliance of left-wing parties.
“Azg” reports, citing unnamed sources, that the main reason for the anticipated dismissal of Armenia’s ambassador in Moscow, Suren Sahakian, is his “extremely close ties” with Ara Abrahamian, a leading member of Russia’s Armenian community.
“Azg” also says that the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission is “resuming its activities.” The paper points to a conference of Armenian, Turkish and American historians which it says took place in Michigan University two weeks ago. “A frank talk about the Armenian Genocide is remarkable step in terms of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. But hiding that talk from Turkish society does not foster the reconciliation in any way. In these circumstances, the conference organized at Michigan University is becoming a means for exploiting the Armenian Genocide,” the paper comments.