“Aravot” says there is nothing “sensational” in the perceived efforts by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) to distance itself from the coalition government of which it is a member. “Justifying fraud in the  presidential elections and having some authority and experience, the party was aspiring to a role commensurate with its standing,” the paper says. “But it failed to achieve that for certain reasons and agreed to join the ruling coalition, while reserving the right not to support activities of a government one third of which is made up of its own representatives. Dashnaktsutyun wants to stay in government but not to soil itself.” A more honest approach, according to the paper, would be to quit the coalition and join the opposition.
“However, Dashnaktsutyun does not want to leave the coalition,” “Aravot” continues. “The other coalition parties, judging from their reaction, are so sick of Dashnaktsutyun’s ‘principled’ stance that they may not to wait until Dashnaktsutyun drops out of the coalition on its own initiative and are prepared to themselves initiate the process of its ouster. This would be much more logical from the standpoint of an ordinary citizen who can not understand what the coalition parties are bickering about.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the Republican Party leader in parliament, Galust Sahakian, says if Dashnaktsutyun officially states that its tough-talking leader Hrant Markarian’s Friday speech reflects its position “such views might bring about quite difficult consequences.” “In general, I would like to tell our partners that voicing unfounded allegations should not be at the heart of party congresses and conferences.” Sahakian says Dashnaktsutyun’s vision of Armenian foreign policy is “extremely outdated and dangerous.”
“The dose of government criticism in Hrant Markarian’s speech was very high,” comments “Iravunk.” The paper says the Dashnak leader would not have differed from any oppositionist if he had also declared last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections illegitimate. It suggests that Markarian sought to placate disgruntled rank-and-file members of his party and at the same time issue a “threat” to both President Robert Kocharian and Dashnaktsutyun’s coalition partners. Dashnaktsutyun thereby made it clear that it might eventually join the opposition unless it gets more senior posts in the Armenian governments.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian ridicules opposition leader Artashes Geghamian for predicting recently that he will quit before this spring. Sarkisian advises the paper to run a front-page headline saying that “Geghamian is a liar.” On the opposition’s ongoing boycott of parliament sessions he says: “Some serious people from the opposition do not quite agree with the opposition boycott.”
According to “Azg,” the failure to win parliament support for a referendum of confidence in Kocharian puts the opposition under greater pressure to “take new, more resolute actions.” But, the paper says, the opposition still has no clear idea of how to proceed.