“168 Zham” writes that it is already two years that the visit of President Robert Kocharian to the United States is under preparation, and adds: “Nevertheless, Kocharian is expected to visit Washington before the end of his tenure, but so far negotiations have been unsuccessful.” Citing its sources, the paper writes that the Americans put too many conditions to the Armenian side. “We want a ‘visit without preconditions’, the Americans want ‘a visit with a coordinated agenda’, the paper’s commentator writes, stressing: “One can only guess what matters are concerned. These are likely to be high-level agreements signed for several years, and by signing them Armenia will be obliged to fulfill them no matter who is at the helm of the state. That’s why Yerevan is not in a hurry.”
In “Hayots Ashkhar” veteran oppositionist Shavarsh Kocharian foresees an imminent collapse of the Artarutyun alliance. “Every time a political unit refuses to stick to its principles, be consistent and resolute and then does not analyze its mistakes, it pays a heavy price. It is clear that the parties of the alliance see the absence of prospect and the threat of reaching a dead end, and that’s why they come up with different initiatives or are searching for new formats.”
“Free Press and Fair Elections” – this is the recipe that member of the board of Armenia’s former ruling party, Pan-Armenian Movement (HHSh), Hovannes Igitian suggests for struggle in an “Aravot” interview. “When we were in power it was the most terrible thing for us to see negative things written about us or our friends in the independent press and it was also the most terrible thing when a group of 100 people staged an action of protest near the parliament or government buildings. I think it is not accidental that today authorities are against these two values – free speech and public meetings. Many who are in parliament or government today once came to power by means of public rallies.”
“The whole opposition is not as wise as Tsarukian alone”. Under this headline the “Taregir” newspaper admits that ‘the reality is that the whole political field today is controlled by the Kocharian-Sargsian tandem.’
“Politicians manipulated by this tandem have become puppets moving into the direction where invisible threads drag them. The focal point of the duo’s scenario is the simultaneous play of the government and the opposition. The role of the government is assigned to the Republican Party and the ‘opposition’ part started when the ‘Prosperous Armenia’ party of Gagik Tsarukian posing as opposition entered the stage,” the paper writes.
“What is the benefit of Armenia in general and Yerevan in particular from the ongoing elite construction?” “Haykakan Zhamanak” queries and answers straight away: “Elite construction is a lucrative business. Today, it is no longer possible to find a more or less legal business in Armenia that would ensure a profit of 2-2.5 drams for every invested dram. And elite construction does that.”