“Our country is a paradise compared to America,” writes “Aravot.” “Our citizens willing to say something do not need to break the law in order to attract attention. There is no need to resort to different tricky techniques in order to get arrested. If you want to be noticed here, just act within the framework of the law on rallies and demonstrations and they will definitely notice and arrest you.” The paper says several amendments to the law in question which are expected to be passed by the Armenian parliament will make it more difficult for the authorities to restrict freedom of assembly.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” lambastes the Armenian opposition for its effective boycott of local elections. The paper says the opposition is willingly placing local government bodies under the control of “stooges of Robert Kocharian, Serzh Sarkisian, Andranik Markarian and Artur Baghdasarian.” “Against that background, the opposition parties’ ability to effect regime change in Armenia is becoming increasingly doubtful. Opposition leaders are indifferently watching government leaders consistently cement their positions. Today opposition parties have trouble meeting people in the regions and one of the reasons for that is that government stooges, who become community prefects or village chiefs, are clearly following government instructions.”
“How can an opposition that has virtually no strong regional leaders, who are at least able to bring people from the regions to Yerevan, effect regime change?” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “And today all opposition parties in Armenia resemble a body which has a head but has no body and limbs.”
Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s 27-year-old son Taron assures “168 Zham” that he will make a good prefect of Yerevan’s Avan district. “I will thereby boost my standing,” he says. Taron Markarian claims that if his father was not prime minister he may have already held senior government positions.
Gagik Minasian, chairman of the Armenian parliament’s committee on finance and economics, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that both the Azerbaijani government and opposition will play the Karabakh card in their campaign for this fall’s parliamentary elections. “But we should take that easy because there will be no major changes in Baku’s position until the elections are over.” He says that if Azerbaijan undergoes “even a partial regime change” as a result of the elections prospects for a resolution of the Karabakh conflict will become brighter. He says a new Azerbaijani regime would not have “a loser’s complex” and could take “real steps” toward a peaceful settlement.