Robert Nazarian, the chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), tells “168 Zham” that it will agree to reverse the more than 16 percent rise in electricity prices only if the Armenian government decides to subsidize them. He says that President Serzh Sarkisian cannot simply tell the commission to annul its own decision. In a clear reference to Russian TV channels, Nazarian criticizes “some media outlets” for claiming that the West is behind the ongoing street protests against the tariff hike. He says the young people attending them cannot be “steered” by anyone.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” tries to explain why the Armenian authorities freed all detainees and allowed the protesters to return to Yerevan’s Marshal Bagramian Avenue on Tuesday just hours after “brutally” breaking up the first demonstration held there. “We think that the main reason was fear resulting from uncertainty and a lack of information,” writes the pro-opposition daily. “They did not and still do not understand what they are up against. A spontaneous social revolt? A well-organized uprising? Or a ‘color’ revolution?”
“Zhamanak” notes that unlike the rallies organized by Armenian opposition parties the ongoing protests in Yerevan feature no “powerful orators, grandiose pledges to oust the regime or resignation demands.” “There are no undisputed leaders and no demonstrators having no status and waiting to see what their leader will order them to do,” writes the paper. “All protesters here are equal and they don’t need leaders who claim to know everything.” This is why, it says, Russia is worried about this movement dubbed “electric Yerevan.”
“Aravot” says that most Armenians do not trust domestic political parties, including those with a long history of involvement in street politics. The No To Plunder movement leading the ongoing protests in Yerevan has no such experience but enjoys a degree of popular trust. The paper believes that that trust may quickly evaporate if No To Plunder makes too many concessions to the government or, on the contrary, adopts an extremely intransigent stance and fails to achieve any concrete results.