“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries what it says are more details of Saturday’s meeting between President Robert Kocharian and leaders of the parliament majority. The paper says Kocharian told them that Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured him of Moscow’s support for the Armenian government in its standoff with the opposition. Kocharian, it adds, also said that he cut more Russian-Armenian economic deals during the trip to Moscow. He is said to have refused to disclose them to his allies.
Kocharian, “Haykakan Zhamanak” continues, then raged at the leaders of the three coalition parties for their continuing squabbles, saying that “if they don’t want to work with each other, they must not play unnecessary games.” The paper says the reason for the president’s anger is that the coalition partners failed to formulate a common approach to a number of government bills discussed by parliament this month. He further advised them to issue a statement describing “how the opposition rejected overtures made by the government and the coalition.”
“Aravot” also says that Kocharian wants parliament deputies from the Dashnaktsutyun, Orinats Yerkir and Republican parties to vote in the same way on all government initiatives.
“The opposition can not be endlessly invited to a dialogue. This tactics has exhausted itself,” Dashnaktsutyun leader Armen Rustamian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Unfortunately, the radical opposition has still not renounced its intent to create a new wave of political tension. We intend to forestall such developments by means of exerting a real, democratic control over the situation.”
According to “Iravunk,” Dashnaktsutyun seems to be trying to “assume the role of a third force,” something which the paper says might result in a conflict of interests between the nationalist party and Kocharian’s inner circle. There already exist “fairly deep disagreements inside the government camp.”
“Iravunk” writes separately that under Armenia’s constitution Kocharian will be able to dissolve the National Assembly starting from May 26, the first anniversary of its election. “Armenia’s entire political landscape will approach on May 26 an important point where solutions could be found to issues which will predetermine Armenia’s development in the coming years,” the paper says. “In the meantime, the opposition camp is busy accumulating political and human resources in order to be able to have a critical mass [of supporters] ahead of a sharp escalation.”
“If we manage to at least cover people’s travel expenses, the rallies will be attended by a lot more people,” a prominent member of the opposition Communist Party of Armenia, Khoren Sargsian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Even more people will turn up if they are sure that [the rally] will be followed by more resolute actions. We need a new April 12. But this time the people will be better prepared for self-defense and the result will be totally different.” Another prominent oppositionist, Aghasi Arshakian of the National Unity Party, believes that the opposition should pay greater attention to its passive supporters in Yerevan.