“Aravot” editorializes that President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus has reinforced his image as “the European Turkmenbashi” by clinching the constitutional right to stay in power for a third term in a controversial referendum. The paper is worried that President Robert Kocharian could try to follow Lukashenko’s example.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” hopes for the creation of an “alliance of democratic forces” in Armenia along the lines of what happened in Georgia and Ukraine. “The sooner that happens the sooner will Armenia join the list of countries with development prospects,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the Armenian government and the opposition have resumed contacts aimed at defusing political tensions in the country. “We did have a meeting,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells the paper. “We agreed to continue the process. But because I stand for working in a quiet environment it doesn’t make sense to say more.” Torosian appears to deny reports that Kocharian urged the leaders of the three coalition parties at a meeting on Friday not to exacerbate their differences. Kocharian, according to the vice-speaker, simply told the coalition leaders that their “insignificant differences that arise from time to time” must not affect the fulfillment of Armenia’s commitments to the Council of Europe and the upcoming constitutional reform.
“Kocharian urged the coalition to work in a calm manner,” reports “Iravunk.” “Right now there seem to be no serious conflicts inside the coalition, but that doesn’t mean that the fragile parliamentary stability can not collapse at any moment.” And it is not just the inner-coalition differences on amending Armenia’s electoral code that could cause it. The paper claims that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian could stir up such trouble practically at will.
“Golos Armenii” remains alarmed by a perceived growth in anti-Russian sentiment in Armenian as a result of the continuing closure of the Russian-Georgian border. “Armenia is offered to live in the conditions of geopolitical absurdity,” writes the Russian-language paper. “Like it or not, Russia’s latest steps are driving Armenia to the south: toward Iran and Turkey. Russia itself is making the existence of the vastly pro-Russian Armenian people unbearable and that could lead the latter to look for new answers to old questions.”