(Saturday, February 26)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” claims that strong attendance at the most recent rally held by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) created “a new political situation” in Armenia. The paper says that in theory the Armenian authorities could respond to that by taking real steps to ease socioeconomic hardship, continuing “the plunder” of the population and relying on the security apparatus to cling to power, or calling snap elections.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that neither the Armenian government nor the electorate in general care whether the country’s leading opposition factions will join forces ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections. The paper says the same is true for the opposition as well. “True, until February 2012 opposition forces will continue to speak about the need to form a united opposition front. But they will never take any practical step in that direction,” it predicts.
“During the past one-and-a-half decade since the 1991-1994 war, Armenian diplomacy has followed a tactic of internationalizing the Karabakh issue on the one hand and dragging out its resolution on the other,” writes “Yerkir.” “It has started showing serious cracks in recent years. As a result, it has become evident now that because of the failed internal and foreign policies of successive Armenian governments, a really unenviable situation is emerging for us in terms of the strategic perspective. Armenia is not developing, while the NKR remains an unrecognized country surviving amid an unfinished war. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, is getting richer and arming itself thanks to its resource-based economy, waiting for an opportune moment to win back Karabakh by means of war.”
“Zhamanak” reports that Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian is “stubbornly refusing” to wear the lapel pin of the Orinats Yerkir Party, of which is a member. This has caused discontent within the Orinats Yerkir, the paper claims. It notes that Karapetian joined the party on the day of his appointment as minister.
Alexander Arzoumanian, an opposition politician and a former foreign minister, tells “168 Zham” that the Armenian opposition has so far failed to achieve leadership change in the country because “the authorities have been trying to intimidate the public at any cost” and because ordinary people have not fought for their rights “to the end.” “You can’t solve issues with one or two pickets,” says Arzoumanian. “What we need is a long-lasting struggle … People should fight as long as their rights have not been restored.”