“Yerkir” contends that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) would benefit more than anyone else from the formation of an electoral alliance of the three political parties represented in Armenia’s government. “In case of a united [coalition electoral] list, the political field will be immediately divided into two camps, which will give the HAK the votes of a substantial part of the public that does not sympathize with it but votes for it out of desperation,” says the paper. This would also complicate things for the opposition Zharangutyun and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) parties, says the Dashnaktsutyun-controlled daily.
“Zhamanak” suggests that former President Robert Kocharian’s libel suit against a third newspaper is part of his attempts to overcome “serious political difficulties.” The pro-HAK paper says Kocharian has been caught in a “trap” and is facing an uncertain political future. It says a dialogue between the current Armenian government and the HAK would be “highly undesirable” for the ex-president. “For if the authorities and the Congress decide to divide the field and play without others, Kocharian will have no room for maneuver,” it says.
Vahagn Khachatrian, a senior HAK member, tells “Kapital” that the Armenian authorities have always strived to split the opposition. “From 2001, every time they saw that the opposition is getting stronger, they set about creating false opposition groups with the aim of weakening the opposition camp,” he claims. Khachatrian says that Zharangutyun and other opposition groups that now attack the HAK should propose alternative programs and solutions. “I see no such force today,” he adds.
Aram Sarkisian, another HAK leader, assures “Haykakan Zhamanak” that all of the HAK members remaining in prison will be set free before the opposition alliance achieves “regime change.” “They will participate, together with us, in a process that will lead to pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections,” he says.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Naira Zohrabian, a parliament deputy from the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), urges her opposition colleagues not to bring up Armenia’s internal political problems at the upcoming session of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg. “The country’s internal problems must be solved inside the country, rather than be exaggerated and publicized at various international bodies,” she says. “That would not solve the problems.”