“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and its leader Levon Ter-Petrosian are “lagging behind political processes happening in the country.” “They think that the spring of 2008, when any rally could turn into dramatic protest actions, clashes and so on, is still on the streets,” says the paper. “In fact, the situation in the country is so stable and the challenges facing it so complex and multi-faceted that at issue is not the danger of rallies but the need for discussions. From this standpoint, it is becoming evident that Ter-Petrosian and his political team are still under the impression of the 2008-2009 post-election processes. And so they have only one message: the president’s resignation.” The paper sees in that regard a serious contradiction between Ter-Petrosian’s penchant for regime change and his reluctance to take “acts of civil disobedience.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is annoyed by former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s calls for a “wave of popular protests” against Armenia’s ongoing rapprochement with Turkey. The opposition paper objects that tens of thousands Armenians already staged such protests against the rigging of the February 2008 presidential election and they were suppressed by a government of which Oskanian was a member. “How can Vartan Oskanian dare to utter the words ‘wave of popular protests’ now?” it says, dismissing as hypocritical his reference to “opposition representatives still kept in prison.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says it is essential that President Serzh Sarkisian step down under pressure from the people, rather than a government faction. “Unfortunately, Ter-Petrosian resigned at the behest of ‘known forces’ and after that political terror was unleashed in Armenia, [the parliament shootings of] October 27 occurred, national wealth was pulverized in an organized fashion and so on,” comments the paper. “It could not have been otherwise because the known forces not backed by the people set no other goals for themselves.”
Arman Melikian, a former Nagorno-Karabakh foreign minister, criticizes President Sarkisian’s policies on Turkey and the Karabakh conflict in an interview with “Zhamanak.” “Today we are in a situation where we can neither sign those [Turkish-Armenian] protocols in their current form, nor return to the starting point because in both cases there would emerge a new situation in which Armenia would be hostage to either Russia or the Turkish-American alliance,” he says.