“Hayots Ashkhar” comments scathingly on opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s speech at Thursday’s rally held in Yerevan by his Armenian National Congress (HAK). The pro-government paper claims that Ter-Petrosian shortened the speech during the rally because he too did not like it.
“Aravot” singles out Ter-Petrosian’s harsh attacks on the leadership of the Yerkrapah Union that voiced support for President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on February 18. One might think, the paper says with sarcasm, that Yerkrapah was a decent and righteous organization until now. It recalls Yerkrapah members’ violent assaults on religious minorities and opposition activists during Ter-Petrosian’s presidency.
“Zhamanak” reports on the discovery of an arms cache in Yerevan that was announced by the police. The paper says the fact that the man who allegedly kept those weapons is a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is bound to raise questions about possible political motives behind his arrest. It wonders if Dashnaktsutyun is now being forced to “reach some agreements on political issues” in advance of the May parliamentary elections. The paper notes that several members of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) were arrested late last year amid mounting tensions between the BHK and the ruling HHK. “As a result, Prosperous Armenia renounced many of its political ambitions … and sealed a so-called memorandum on ‘civilized competition’ with the HHK,” it says.
Interviewed by “Iravunk,” HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov skirts a question about the BHK’s tacit support for the opposition demands for parliamentary elections held only under the system of proportional representation. Sharmazanov repeats instead that the government and his party are committed to holding free and fair elections. He also dismisses opposition claims that the HHK is opposed to the idea because it would suffer from the abolition of single-mandate parliamentary constituencies. He argues that the 2009 municipal elections in Yerevan were held only on the party-list basis and the HHK won them by landslide.