“Hraparak” says that the July 17 deadly attack on a police station in Yerevan carried out by armed members of a radical opposition group highlighted popular “demand for change” in Armenia. “The demand for change is so intense that even human casualties do not make people sober up and a certain stratum of the population is not averse to bloodshed,” writes the paper. “The authorities accuse everyone but themselves, praise security forces and thank those who maintain stability, or rather their positions, in the country through violence … But the society does not accept that.” The paper claims that quite a few Armenians are now looking forward to an impending change of the government predicted by several media outlets.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that the authorities are “clearly scared of the results” of Armenia’s next parliamentary elections due in April 2017. In these circumstances, they have a vested interested in keeping public attention focused on the fallout from the July attack on the police station in Yerevan’s Erebuni district, says the paper. It says Armenians are thus distracted from the need to fight for the freedom and fairness of the 2017 elections. “Besides, this is helping the authorities to weaken those opposition groups that intend to do gain popular support through the elections,” it says. “This is what the authorities fear the most for the simple reason that it is much harder to use special police units in polling stations.”
Alexander Arzumanian, a parliament deputy and a former foreign minister, tells “Zhoghovurd” that Armenia must not retaliate against Russian authorities’ decision to refuse entry to a prominent Armenian political analyst in a similar fashion. “If we blacklist [foreign] people do not like Armenia’s policies or something else about Armenia we will look like [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev or contemporary Russia or North Korea,” argues Arzumanian.