“Zhoghovurd” claims that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian “voiced indirect accusations against Serzh Sarkisian” in the Armenian parliament on Wednesday by reiterating his belief that the continuing uncertainty about his political future reflects negatively on economic activity in Armenia. Karapetian thus again accused Sarkisian and the ruling HHK of hampering investments in the Armenian economy, speculates the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” describes as “sensational” the release on Wednesday of transcripts of wiretapped phone calls that were made by radical opposition gunmen after they seized a police station in Yerevan’s Erebuni district in July 2016. They were publicized by prosecutors at the trial of the leading members of the armed group called Sasna Tsrer. “The conversations make it clear that the group which seized the police base had one objective: to remove Nikol Pashinian from the [surrounding] area and get the people rallying there closer to the base,” comments the paper. It suggests that the release of this important information may be aimed at preventing Pashinian’s Civil Contract party and smaller opposition groups supportive of the jailed gunmen from jointly trying to topple President Sarkisian.
“These wiretaps demonstrate that Sasna Tsrer’s actions targeted not only the authorities but also politics as a whole,” writes “Zhamanak.” The paper too points to possible cooperation between Pashinian and the gunmen’s backers. “Of course, in Armenia’s modern history there have been quite a few cases where political forces that had traded accusations subsequently became allies, at least in the tactical sense,” it says. “But in this case we are witnessing a qualitatively different situation and circumstances because they are about accepting or not accepting politics in principle, rather than political-tactical differences.”
“Hraparak” sees a clear division between opposition forces trying to stop Serzh Sarkisian from extending his rule. Some of them, including the jailed Sasna Tsrer leaders, stand for an “armed tough struggle” while the others, notably Pashinian’s party, favor solely peaceful methods of political struggle, editorializes the paper. It says that even peaceful protests will not make Pashinian and his allies immune to arrest. “The bad thing is that in our country virtually all avenues of political struggle lead to prisons,” it says. “Things like civilized struggle, peaceful regime change and bloodless ouster of a failed government do not materialize here.”