“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on an opinion poll in Yerevan, according to which only 18.5 percent of city residents approve of President Robert Kocharian’s activities and only 14 percent are satisfied with his government’s track record. The Armenian parliament was even less popular with a 9.5 percent approval rating.
“Hayots Ashkhar” also comments on Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Wednesday interview with journalists, saying that the former Armenian president can not return to active politics no matter how much he wants so. “He wants to return prematurely. Maybe [he can do that] in 20 or 30 years,” the paper says bitingly. It adds that Ter-Petrosian’s may secure international support for his comeback but “within the country there is no demand in him.” “It is obvious that Armenia will face serious international pressure over the Karabakh issue.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” Ter-Petrosian decided to speak up after a more than five-year silence is aimed at “testing public reaction” to his possible comeback. The paper describes the ex-president as a “political guerilla.” “He wants to say something which he would like others to tell him.”
“This was not a return,” counters the pro-Ter-Petrosian “Aravot.” “The enthusiasm of Ter-Petrosian’s supporters and rivals is premature. His statements are quickly distorted and result in a folksy lexicon.” The paper predicts that Ter-Petrosian’s remarks will be interpreted by his opponents as a call for a public rally around his presidential candidacy. They gave the pro-government media “plenty of material to slander the first president for the next two or three weeks.” “But while the posture of Ter-Petrosian opponents is more or less understandable -- they are afraid of the first president’s return and engage in counter-propaganda -- the behavior of his supporters is devoid of logic.” The paper says the latter “must not wait until he speaks out” to thrust themselves into the political limelight.
“Iravunk” believes that Ter-Petrosian’s surprise interview was a “well-thought and demonstrative act.” “With the action organized at the airport, Ter-Petrosian showed that he is returning from the United States with a special broad mission which is calculated for the long term but still does not think that conditions are ripe for him to return to big politics,” the paper says. It says the international environment for a Karabakh settlement is now even more unfavorable for the Armenian side than it was in 1993. “And in general, an atmosphere of destabilization clearly reigns in Armenia. Also contributing to destabilization are the relationships inside the governing coalition.”