Echoing President Robert Kocharian’s statements, “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says the Armenian opposition is “losing face” as its Friday rally only intensified rivalry between its two top leaders, Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian. The paper argues that either man sought to get more applause than the other.
“Hayots Ashkhar” likewise believes that the opposition demonstration and the campaign for regime change “gloriously failed.”
“This could be classified among the most peaceful and democratic rallies,” writes “Azg.” “But threats and warnings repeatedly voiced through television left their imprint. A sense of fear was relentlessly hanging in the air. The popular euphoria which opposition leaders expected was clearly not there.”
“Aravot” says President Robert Kocharian believes that things will calm down after the opposition realizes that it can not replicate the Georgian revolution and after it picks up a single leader. “If these are the main ideas driving opposition activity, then one should not count on a quick defusing of the situation. For it is very difficult, almost impossible to convince our opposition that things will not work out the way they did in Georgia…Secondly, a struggle for a single leader within the opposition will hardly fade away even if that leader is officially announced. Yes, the people are extremely unhappy with the government however the president tries not to notice that.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” welcomes Kocharian’s resolve not to bow to the opposition pressure. The paper says Kocharian gave the opposition a last chance to step back from the brink. “While the opposition tries to provoke the government into drastic steps and simultaneously attract the attention of international organizations, making Armenia a target of their pressures, the government is showing utmost restraint which is a sign of its strength, rather than weakness.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian says that Europe’s expectations from Armenia and its leadership regarding political reform are utterly justified. “We must continue our efforts in this direction,” he says. Baghdasarian adds that the Council of Europe and other European organizations will soon set higher democracy and human rights standards for Armenia. “I was clearly told about that on the highest level during my meetings in Europe.” The speaker warns that Armenia could face sanctions if it fails to respect “European principles.”