“Zhamanak” expects the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) to respond to President Serzh Sarkisian’s most recent statement on its dialogue with the government at its rally on Friday. The paper cautions that that response may be just as ambiguous and implicit. “That is, it is possible that the Congress will come up with new proposals with which it will try to clarify Serzh Sarkisian's fairly fuzzy response,” it says, adding that the HAK might also issue a new ultimatum to the president. The pro-opposition daily says the rally should therefore show what actions the HAK will take in the weeks to come.
“Aravot” says that opposition demonstrations are one of the mechanisms for holding the Armenian government in check and that the HAK should therefore rally its supporters more often. “Only the Armenian National Congress is capable of organizing mass demonstrations in Armenia,” editorializes the paper. But it says HAK arguments that the authorities should call extraordinary elections because the last polls were rigged are “not quite convincing.” “If the main component of a [political] crisis is the government’s illegitimacy, then we have lived in that crisis for 16 years,” it says. “Maybe that’s the case. But that crisis has never created a critical mass [of protesters] or sufficient conditions [for regime change.]”
“We must make sure that life in Armenia is better than abroad,” “168 Zham” quotes Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian as saying. “If you start improving things in Armenia … the number of people supporting the government will increase and that will be the government’s success. But if the authorities fail, people are more inclined to vote for the opposition. Believe me, no government has a desire to work in a way that will make it less popular than the opposition.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that a dialogue between the government and the society is more important than any government-HAK rapprochement. “There is no dialogue between the government and the society in our country,” complains the paper. “And even the best intentions and ideas coming from above are not realized.”
In an interview with “Kapital,” Arif Yunusov, a prominent Azerbaijani analyst, says that France, Russia and the United States have different attitudes to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The U.S. has serious interests in this region,” he says. “There is a hidden and sometimes open confrontation with Russia. On top of that there is a tough standoff with Iran … The Americans need a peaceful and predictable South Caucasus. At the end of the day, the U.S. doesn’t care how and in whose favor the Karabakh conflict will be solved. The main thing is to prevent war. Russia has a different approach.”