“Our people need so little in order to be happy,” “Hraparak” complains in an editorial. “Our people don’t like protesting, taking to the streets, smashing things, even though they have numerous reasons to do that. This patience and conformism are the reason why our country and society are not in a good shape. Embezzlement and theft by government officials must not be tolerated, just like you don’t tolerate when you are humiliated and taken for a fool.”
Interviewed by “Kapital,” Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), claims that the Armenian authorities are not forced by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) to free all opposition prisoners. “The fact is that a second general amnesty in three years is being expedited in order to defuse political tensions,” he says. This is the result of “our political course,” and not the opposition pressure, adds Sharmazanov.
“The Republicans one by one warmly welcome the general amnesty declared by Serzh Sarkisian but avoid stating openly that that is the fulfillment of an HAK demand,” “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” writes in that regard. “That is absolutely understandable. They could not have said, ‘Yes, the HAK demanded and we obliged.’ The problem is that Serzh Sarkisian’s goal is not to reduce internal political tension. His goal is to weaken the [Armenian National] Congress. That is why the authorities are advertising dialogue [with the HAK] with all possible and impossible propaganda techniques.” They hope that the HAK will thus be discredited in the process, claims the opposition daily.
“Yerkir” speculates that the HAK is “not particularly delighted” with the amnesty. “At least six or seven of some 2,000 prisoners set to benefit from the presidential mercy will be unhappy,” writes the paper. “They are the ones who diligently prepared for a heroic return to the political arena. But now they will appear before the public as ordinary prisoners, who have regained freedom thanks to the amnesty.” The Armenian authorities thus hope to “disarm” the HAK and be the main beneficiary of the recent political developments in the country, concludes the paper linked with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun).