“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Armenian Communist Party (HHK) will not cooperate with the opposition Artarutyun alliance and National Unity Party because its new leader, Ruben Tovmasian, believes that they are “quite tolerant” of the authorities. “We have differences with them,” Tovmasian tells the paper. “We don’t share their position of being in constructive opposition.” He claims that the HKK is “the only radical opposition party” in Armenia.
But as “Haykakan Zhamanak” notes, Artarutyun leaders are now busy drafting legislation aimed at unseating President Robert Kocharian. They want, in particular, to amend Armenia’s law on referendum in order to pave the way for a “referendum of confidence” in Kocharian. However, the parliament majority will almost certainly block the initiative. Only the deputies affiliated with National Unity may vote for it. One of them, Aleksan Karapetian, said on Monday that Artashes Geghamian’s party supports any effort to “oust the Robert Kocharian-Serzh Sarkisian duo.”
Meanwhile, an Artarutyun leader, Aram Sarkisian, warns the parliament majority against rejecting the opposition initiatives. “If the people believe that the opposition is right and stand by us, I wonder what the so-called parliament majority will do after trying to rejected our changes demanded by the people themselves,” he tells “Iravunk.” “Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many of us sit in the National Assembly: 16, 24 or 30.”
“Iravunk” reports on rumors about a rift between two members of the governing coalition: the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and Orinats Yerkir. A senior Orinats Yerkir parliamentarian, Mher Shahgeldian, denies them. “We work as partners within the framework of the coalition,” Shahgeldian says. “Naturally, there are discussions going on there and different opinions are possible…But there are no disagreements.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Mher Sedrakian, the head of Yerevan’s Erebuni district seriously wounded in a recent car bomb explosion, has left hospital. Relatives says he now feels well but needs to undergo further medical treatment at home. Erebuni prosecutors, for their part, have not yet made any arrests in connection with the apparent assassination attempt.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also reports that the deputy commander of Armenian border troops arrested late last month on bribery charges was released from prison on Monday pending investigation. The paper says Vahan Mkhitarian’s release was order by the Armenian Court of Appeals.