“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Friday’s opposition rally in Yerevan will mark a “turning point” in the opposition campaign for regime change as it will see the official launch of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). “This will herald the final, decisive, phase of the movement,” says the opposition paper. “It is evident that the current authorities’ hopes that the movement will die out over time have been dashed.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that during the rally Ter-Petrosian will officially declare President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation the key aim of his movement.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the only real result of the rally will be a marked upsurge in Ter-Petrosian’s and other opposition leaders’ “aggression” toward the government.
“Hraparak” says the rally will coincide with the inauguration by President Sarkisian of a newly built street junction in Yerevan. “The purpose of this contrast is to show that the opposition talks while the government works,” comments the paper. “Trouble is that the public now primarily expects speeches and is not convinced by [practical] work presented to it.” It is extremely hard for the authorities to win over the public even with positive deeds, it says. “The public has crossed the Rubicon and you just can’t calm it down with anything. The people are longing for regime change.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” the chief of Sarkisian’s staff, Hovik Abrahamian, pointedly declines to refute mounting speculation that he has set his sights on the post of parliament speaker and is contesting an upcoming parliamentary by-election for that purpose. “Such issues are within the domain of the Republican Party’s political decisions,” says Abrahamian. “Naturally, I will be where the Republican Party wants me to be.”
Samvel Nikoyan, chairman of the parliamentary commission investigating the March 1-2 events in Yerevan, tells “Iravunk” that it will finish its work and release a report before the end of October. He says the report will contain a “political evaluation” of the unrest.
“Aravot” comments on the decision by some of the arrested opposition members not to cooperate with Nikoyan’s commission. The paper disagrees with them, saying that such cooperation is in their interests. “The commission’s objectivity can be questioned at any moment,” it says in an editorial. “That moment does not seem to have come.”