“The Armenian authorities have succeeded in once again winning time and repelling the danger of losing the right to vote in the PACE,” writes Lragir.am. “There is no doubt that the authorities will present that fact as their great victory. A victory against everyone: Europe, the society, the opposition.”
“In 2008, the authorities once again rigged an election and responded to a popular revolt with violence and political repression, which resulted in human casualties this time around,” editorializes “Aravot.” The paper says this “truth” must be told in and outside Armenia, including in the Council of Europe. But it is not sure that this and other international organizations can help resolve Armenia’s long-standing political problems with their resolutions or otherwise. The paper also predicts a euphoric government reaction to the PACE’s anticipated decision not to impose sanctions against Armenia.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” National Unity Party leader Artashes Geghamian defends members of the Armenian delegation at the PACE against criticism voiced by some of their pro-government colleagues. He hopes that they will present the political situation in Armenia to the assembly in an “impartial” and “convincing” manner.
“Hraparak” says the threat of PACE sanctions against a member state is a more effective measure than the imposition of sanctions. “The PACE finds results of their policy, no matter how small, more important than sanctions,” says the paper. “To put it simply, their goal is not to punish but to bring [a country] to its senses. They think in the PACE that you can’t do that by stripping [a member state of its voting rights.] So it looks like we will again be left off the hook. Assuming, of course, that our aim is meaningless membership [in the Council of Europe,] rather than adoption of democratic values.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” downplays the significance of Council of Europe decisions on Armenia, saying that Levon Ter-Petrosian and his opposition movement have pinned no hopes on external forces right from the beginning. “Therefore, the position of the outside world will not affect the movement in any way,” says the opposition daily. “It doesn’t matter at all whether or not the Council of Europe sees progress in Armenia. We know that there is no progress. We also know that these authorities will never willingly make concessions. Therefore we can attain our goals only by means of struggle.”