“Aravot” comments that renewed arrests of opposition activists are a clear sign of President Robert Kocharian’s “weakness.” “In effect, Robert Kocharian is weak and lacks confidence. Otherwise, he would not intimidate the people with repressions and job dismissals,” the paper writes. “He would act openly and honestly, not the way he is acting now, taking a stance of someone uninformed of anything but later ordering his police to go after people protesting against him.”
“Orran” says Kocharian is “fighting against the [opposition] rallies and protests with a resolve worthy of a classical dictator.” “They continue to terrorize numerous citizens and infringe on people’s dignity for the sake of his so-called ‘stability’,” the paper attacks.
“Orran” and other pro-opposition papers report that the authorities on Friday again blocked all major highways leading to Yerevan to prevent thousands of people living outside the city from attending yet another rally held by Stepan Demirchian.
But despite those measures, writes “Ayb-Fe,” the protest was again big, with Demirchian supporters remaining determined to “win by legitimate means.”
But as “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” writes, opposition activists only “feel that they are being persecuted.” In fact, the paper says, the pro-Demirchian parties are “persecuting themselves” to attract public attention.
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that opposition claims that Kocharian is becoming a “dictator” can hardly be taken seriously by the domestic public and the international community. The opposition leaders are well aware of this. The paper says their real goal is to “prepare ground for serious [international] pressure on Armenia during the expected decisive round of negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.”
“Golos Armenii” says preferring Kocharian to his political opponents amounts to “making a choice between bad and worse.”
According to an opinion poll cited by “Aravot,” 22.5 percent of voters in Yerevan would likely vote for the Demirchian-led Artarutyun (Justice) alliance and about 17 percent for Artashes Geghamian’s National Unity party if parliamentary elections were held this Sunday. Another opposition bloc led by Raffi Hovannisian would poll about 6 percent. Of all the parties supporting Kocharian Orinats Yerkir appears to be the most popular. More than 13 percent of those polled said they will vote for it. Orinats Yerkir is followed by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (9.2 percent) and the Republican Party (7.4 percent), according to the survey.