“Zhamanak” says the latest mutual gestures of Armenia’s government and opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) have left a large part of the public “in bewilderment.” “People see that something is going on, that the parties are playing with each other, responding to one another, making concessions to one another,” writes the paper. “And naturally everyone is wondering how all that will end.” It says some opposition supporters are happy with government concessions made to the HAK, while others suspect that “it’s a government trap into which the opposition is slowly falling.”
“In all probability, the political prisoners will be set free soon,” editorializes “Hraparak.” “That’s when the real difficulties will start [for the opposition.] In what direction will the HAK move? What will it fight for? What priorities will it set? Answers to these questions are not visible today.” The paper says those who will raise such questions and openly cast doubt on the viability of the HAK strategy will be publicly lambasted by Levon Ter-Petrosian and his associates. It suspects that the HAK has abandoned its far-reaching aims and will settle for a dozen parliament seats in elections due next year.
Commenting on Thursday’s HAK rally, “Iravunk” says the political situation in Armenia will remain stable at least until the end of May. “At first, Levon [Ter-Petrosian] fired up his popular masses, filled the brains of ordinary disgruntled people with expectations of an end to the ‘kleptocratic’ government system for three consecutive years, but is now really engaged in a dialogue with that kleptocracy,” writes the paper. “Now he is urging people not to get carried away with revolutionary romanticism.” The paper critical of Ter-Petrosian says many of those people will now be furious with this about-face.
Former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Irates de facto” that both the government and the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition are interested in maintaining the political status quo. “Apparently these two parties want to maintain the existing correlation of forces in the pre-election period,” he says. “They probably consider the next presidential elections to be more important.”
Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that President Serzh Sarkisian has been very tolerant of his opponents throughout his presidency. He says Sarkisian has been consistently restoring “the atmosphere of social solidarity” in Armenia since the March 2008 violence in Yerevan.