“Zhamanak” disagrees with the view that President Serzh Sarkisian, unlike his predecessor President Robert Kocharian, was not interested in or did not benefit from the March 2008 crackdown on the opposition. The paper says that he would not have become president without the use of deadly force against opposition protesters.
Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that he respects those Armenians who attend antigovernment rallies held by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) but does not take seriously speeches made by Levon Ter-Petrosian and other HAK leaders. “They’ve repeated the same thing for three years,” he says. “They trumpet about a dialogue with the authorities, but they have repeatedly ignored opportunities and invitations offered by us.” Sahakian claims that even HAK supporters do not understand what the dialogue sought Ter-Petrosian should focus on.
“Yerkir” accuses Ter-Petrosian of remaining intolerant towards opposition groups other than the HAK. The paper controlled by one of those groups, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), makes the point that Armenians need an alternative both the current government and Ter-Petrosian’s bloc. It says that these two camps have “virtually identical” views on foreign policy and “governance methods.” “The formula advanced by Ter-Petrosian is viable only in terms of waging an uncompromising struggle for power,” continues the paper. “The authorities and the Congress willingly or unwillingly tell the public to chose between the bad and the worse.”
“Unfortunately, a [genuine] multi-party system has not been established in Armenia,” former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Kapital.” “Moreover, it has been finally destroyed in the past three years. Armenia really needs new political forces that would correspond to the demands of the 21st century with their traits, principles and values.” Torosian at the same time does not accept the term “third force” used by politicians and media in references to such groups.
Interviewed by “Hraparak,” Ruben Gevorgian, a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), defends his view that extraparliamentary opposition forces must not aspire to power. Gevorgian also says that the BHK will contest the next parliamentary elections with its own list of candidates.