(Saturday, July 2)
“Yerkir” sees the country’s main opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) relapsing into radicalization following its latest rally last Thursday. The paper says a new format of relations between the ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian-led opposition alliance and the government was beginning to shape and the method of exerting pressure on the authorities through public sentiments was producing concrete results.
“But the moment the HAK decided to formalize this format, in other words to make the authorities recognize its status as the only alternative, everything came to a grinding halt. Furthermore, judging by the rhetoric of the latest HAK rally, things have started to return to the positions of radicalism,” the periodical concludes.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” deputy head of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) Razmik Zohrabian accuses the HAK of transgressing the boundaries of correctness in waging its political struggle. The senior representative of the governing party pinpoints the recent statement made by one of the HAK leaders who called the government criminal and said that unless it agreed to holding early elections, the opposition would seize power ‘by storm’.
“We are trying to create an environment of accord, refrain from steps that would lead to civil strife; we’ve been carrying out certain political reforms. But they once again talk about ‘storms’ as if they want to go back to 2008, when they, indeed, attempted to seize power by storm,” charges Zohrabian.
“Zhamanak” speculates on the most recent statement by the foreign minister of France about plans to submit new proposals to the parties to the Karabakh conflict. The paper suggests the development amounts to the earliest proof that the current stage of the Russian policies in the South Caucasus region is considered a failure. “Now the Russians at least have no moral right to interfere with Western initiatives… The fresh requirements [to the conflicting sides] are likely to come down to taking some substantial steps towards ending Russian influence. As far as Armenia is concerned, this may include a certain election scenario when political factions ready to act without Russia will prove successful,” the paper claims.
But it continues: “It seems that in Armenia no such force exists and, moreover, the government cannot be such, which gives reasons to believe that a power change at the upcoming elections is inevitable. But the thing is that the so-called pro-Russian orientation of the Armenian authorities must be an overstatement, since the Armenian authorities are not ‘pro’ anything or anyone and have never been. In reality, authorities in Armenia have tended to be where they feel as safe as possible and where their business interests and physical security are assured.”
In an interview with “Aravot” head of the HHK parliamentary faction Galust Sahakian insists that the Armenian public and broad political circles are not familiar with the international mediators’ current peace proposals on Karabakh. In this view, the senior pro-establishment politician makes a case that it is still early to think about possible new proposals to be made by France. To the journalist’s astonishment at this statement given that the so-called Madrid principles of Karabakh settlement have been published on a number of occasions, Sahakian replies: “It is the co-chairs [of the OSCE Minsk Group], the presidents [of Armenia and Azerbaijan] and, to some extent, the foreign ministers who have been familiar with the Madrid principles… These principles have not been published officially.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” is ‘appalled’ at the scale of emigration from Armenia. The paper cites official data showing that nearly 48,000 people left the country for good during the first four months of this year. It calculates the rate of emigration as being 400 people or 100 families per day. “To put it simply, in terms of its population strength every year Armenia loses one Karabakh. And what are the authorities doing? Nothing. So far, they’ve only been joking on this subject and encouraging the operations of offices assisting Armenians in emigration matters,” the daily charges.