(Saturday, April 2)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” attacks the opposition Zharangutyun party’s stated intention to form a new antigovernment coalition. The paper describes that as an attempt to create an alternative to Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). “So [Zharangutyun leader] Raffi Hovannisian has decided to repeat Levon Ter-Petrosian’s all steps,” it says, adding that this is what Orinats Yerkir Party leader Artur Baghdasarian did during the 2008 presidential race. The pro-HAK daily also slams more radical opposition elements that are unhappy with the HAK’s caution.
“While I sometimes don’t understand the Armenian National Congress (HAK), I agree even less with its critics that call for radicalism and determination,” writes the “Aravot” editor, Aram Abrahamian. “And they don’t explain the essence of that resolute tactic. When they say ‘No to elections, let’s achieve regime change without elections,’ I don’t get it.” No responsible political force can share such views, he says.
Arman Melikian, a former Nagorno-Karabakh foreign minister, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that there is no reason why the HAK should not be allowed to hold rallies in Yerevan’s Liberty Square. “What matters is not the venue but the symbolism of the venue,” he says. “You can hold a rally anywhere. The Matenadaran [square] has also been a venue for holding rallies since 1989-1990. But the territory in front of the Opera House, Liberty Square, or the Theater Square, is a symbol of our national revival. I can understand the fact that the opposition and opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian in particular see some symbolism here.”
“Yerkir” notes that Swiss President Micheline Calmy Rey visited Armenia in the run-up to the April 24 Armenian genocide remembrance day. The paper claims that Calmy Rey held talks with Armenia’s leaders in Yerevan not so much in her capacity as president of Switzerland but as a “mediator between Turkey and Armenia.” “With her visit to Armenia she aimed to reaffirm, ahead of April 24, Switzerland’s readiness on the issue of continuing the frozen [Turkish-Armenian] reconciliation process,” it says.