“If the regime was serious about its calls for overcoming the crisis, it should have at least immediately released all political prisoners,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Those people must have been set free long ago. And Serzh Sarkisian must realize that every hour those people spend in detention raises the likelihood of his regime and himself finding themselves under the wreckage of the ‘wall of misunderstanding’ that the people will tear down without the government’s permission.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that with his dramatic political comeback and strong performance in the presidential election Levon Ter-Petrosian managed to accomplish “almost the impossible.” The pro-government paper also says the main reason why Ter-Petrosian harshly attacked Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian is that they have not made “unilateral concessions” to Azerbaijan over the past decade. It also echoes government claims that Ter-Petrosian’s post-election demonstrations that culminated in the March 1 violence were an attempt at coup d’etat.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that Sarkisian and Kocharian have effectively swapped their jobs and that the latter will be Armenia’s de facto prime minister. As for the newly appointed Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, the opposition paper considers him a figurehead who will have largely ceremonial powers.
“Azg” reports that for the first time in the past several years the average prices of apartments in Yerevan slightly dropped in March. “The monthly price rise in the last four years here has averaged 1-3 percent,” says the paper. “It is obvious that the March 1 riots provoked by presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian affected the real estate market which is especially sensitive to instability.”
Citing unnamed airport officials, “Hayk” says that the number Armenians traveling abroad has increased significantly this spring. “Our observations also show that the number of those who are leaving or are preparing to leave Armenia has grown drastically,” says the paper.