(Saturday, July 4)
“168 Zham” says that the “Electric Yerevan” protests have not only produced “unprecedented and encouraging results” but also exposed “flaws existing in our political system.” “This too can be considered a positive consequence,” comments the paper. It says the greatest of those flaws is that most domestic political actors are now discredited in the eyes of the majority of Armenians. This is why, it says, the protesters on Marshal Bagramian Avenue are keen to deny any political agendas driving them. This also explains why the campaign against an electricity price hike is “dying down,” according to the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also criticizes the protest leaders for emphasizing the apolitical character of their movement. The pro-opposition paper downplays concessions that have been made to them by President Serzh Sarkisian.
“Zhamanak” comments on the uncertain future of the protests. The paper says that even their participants and leaders do not know what their campaign will lead to. It says it gets the impression that the Armenian authorities have stepped aside in anticipation of serious infighting within the movement that will lead to its implosion.
“Aravot” criticizes Soviet-era dissident Paruyr Hayrikian and a group of his supporters for joining the Marshal Bagramian Avenue demonstration with European Union flags on Friday. “Why should we hold any flag other than the [Armenian] tricolor during political, public or civic events happening in our country?” asks the paper. “Does this mean that we expect a foreign country or structure to help us solve our problems? What should the EU do in these circumstances? To lower the energy tariffs? To establish democracy in Armenia? To carry out regime change in Armenia? Even if it does that, it won’t be worth a penny.” The paper says at the same time that some of the protesters were wrong to respond to Hayrikian with violence.