“Haykakan Zhamanak” offers a view in its editorial that objectively favorable conditions have been created in Armenia for the local opposition to unite ahead of next year’s presidential election.
It suggests that a large number of opposition political parties are struggling to survive under current political conditions and may cease to exist completely unless a breakthrough is achieved in 2008.
“Already now the public gets the feeling that the opposition’s activities are senseless, and if the government achieves a victory in 2008 many opposition parties may stop their operations altogether. Even the relatively younger opposition parties will experience serious difficulties in recruiting members because this feeling of ‘senselessness’ will grow deeper. This shows that uniting ahead of the presidential election is in the vital interest of opposition parties.”
“Hayk” registers a de-facto demise of tycoon Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), which, it says, many people had expected to become an alternative to the incumbent authorities before the parliamentary elections.
“Of course, it still exists de jure, it has a parliamentary faction, ministerial portfolios, a man in the Central Election Commission, but in Yerevan and most of the regions the BHK has closed almost all its offices and chapters… Today, the BHK has become an appendix to the Republican Party and is unable to influence decision-making.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” argues that Armenia has a middle class larger than it is usually thought to be. However, it says, the representatives of this class are mainly in the shadow, as they are fed by bribes and illicit dealings. “It turns out that this middle class mostly consists of law-breakers, who are naturally aggressive as they always have to be on the offensive to defend themselves. Maybe that’s what accounts for the general aggressiveness observed in our society.”
“Aravot” editorializes on the “paper magic” performed by Armenian mayors and prefects, who, it writes, may cut trees to clear the way for construction projects, but later prove in a convincing manner, invoking the law, that their permissions are legal. “The same happens in the economic sector where the main component is elite construction. But who can afford to live, for instance, in North Avenue?” the paper queries. “Naturally, these are people who have no less than a million dollars, such as about two dozen home-grown oligarchs and a relatively higher number of corrupt state officials who simply invest in real estate. It turns out that the government grows economically within itself.”