“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” downplays the authorities’ decision to formally allow the opposition Armenia National Congress (HAK) to hold a rally in Yerevan’s Liberty Square, saying that it “changes nothing” in the Armenian political arena. The opposition paper argues that the HAK has already twice rallied supporters there without a government permission. “Obviously, the same was going to happen on April 28,” it says. “The review of the March 1 criminal case [ordered by President Serzh Sarkisian] was also a nice gesture. But it has produced no concrete results yet and few believe that the organizers [of the killings] will really be punished. And the political prisoners are still in jail.”
“Yerkir” says the decision suggests that the city authorities have grown tired of wasting money on organizing various events in Liberty Square and using them as an excuse to ban political gatherings there. “Especially given that no money is spent on impromptu disco parties held after every [HAK] rally,” says the paper.
“In principle, such a decision by the municipality was predictable,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “The revision of its previous decision to ban [the HAK rally] fully fits into the logic of recent political developments. On the other hand, it must be pointed out that in the past three years there haven’t been any cases of the authorities seriously impeding a major rally held by the HAK-HHSh.” The paper also claims that the latest municipality decision is the result of “some agreements” reached by the authorities and the opposition alliance. “At the same time, it will be difficult for the [opposition] radicals to moderate their revolutionary rhetoric and risk losing supporters,” it says.
Marine Petrosian, a well-known poetess and columnist, tells “Aravot” that she now sees “a certain convergence of interests between the HAK and the authorities.” “That is, some groundwork has been laid for an agreement,” she says. “To generalize things, I would say that at the end of the day the HAK will give Serzh Sarkisian legitimacy and a guarantee of his winning a second term in office and in return for that the HAK will get not too few but not too many votes in the parliament.” Petrosian says that as a staunch government opponent, she considers such a deal “absolutely unacceptable” because she thinks it will not bode well for “systemic changes in Armenia.”