(Saturday, October 29)
“Yesterday the Armenian National Congress (HAK) was at least honest enough to admit to its sympathizers that it is no longer able to accomplish the mission -- regime change -- for which it received a popular mandate in 2008,” “168 Zham” editorializes on the latest rally held by the opposition force. The paper believes that in his speech at the rally HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian effectively announced the start of his campaign for the 2012 parliamentary elections. It says his pledge to try to launch impeachment proceedings against President Serzh Sarkisian in the next National Assembly is a mere pre-election ploy.
“Zhamanak” says that just because the HAK is starting to prepare for the 2012 elections does not mean that the conduct of early elections in Armenia is not possible. “The thing is that pre-term elections do not only depend on the Congress,” the pro-HAK daily says, echoing Ter-Petrosian’s Friday remarks. It says fresh polls may still be held because of intensifying tensions within Sarkisian’s ruling coalition. “The likelihood of that happening is small but it does exist because truly serious processes are now unfolding within the regime, with former comrades-in-arms gradually becoming bitter political rivals,” adds the paper.
“Yerkir” also sees the “start of a pre-election period in Armenia.” The paper says recent political developments in the country have demonstrated that the Armenian authorities are not serious about their pledges to make the next elections more democratic. It says they will be seeking to win those elections “at any cost.”
Galust Sahakian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that there is no need to change anything within the ruling coalition. Sahakian says there will be no formal “clarification” of the HHK’s relationship with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “Our position is that all political forces must unite around one objective: holding good elections,” he says. “In this regard, it doesn’t matter which political party will win the elections and who will become the country’s leading force.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the Armenian government is “afraid” of publicizing its own package of draft amendments to tax legislation which are supposed to help it significantly increase tax revenues in 2012. The opposition paper says that is natural because the government lacks popular trust.