NT Highlights #13 (515)
5 April, 2004
Much Ado About Nothing?
By Haroutiun Khachatrian
Outsiders visiting Armenia on these days may be surprised to learn from mass
media, (including the state-owned ones) that there is a political tension in
There are almost no real signs to prove this.
In fact, I believe the people saying that there is little basis for
extensive shock and shaking in Armenia are right.
The opposition has declared a single goal: to force Robert Kocharian to
resign, as the results of his re-elections last year were falsified. Event
if one agrees with this allegation, it still remains to see what are the
resources the opposition plans to use to force Kocharian to leave the
President’s office? Its leaders mention one single resource: the people will
organize, in reply to the appeals of these leaders, mass actions of protest
and civil disobedience.
Will they? I doubt deeply. These same opposition leaders failed to persuade
the population to participate in such actions a year ago, immediately after
the presidential elections, when emotions were much higher than now. The
simple fact that Geghamian and Demirchain act jointly now (they failed to
coordinate their actions last year) is evidently insufficient to spark a
large-scale “people movement”now. Despite the high level of negative
emotions towards the authorities and Kocharian personally.
Those seeing parallels between today’s Armenia and Georgia of the last
November miss an important factor: both the life standards and the
capacities of the state machinery in Armenia are much higher than in the
neighboring country. Hence, the basis for a type of “rose revolution” here
is very small if any.
For this reason, the nervous reaction of authorities to the threats of the
opposition leaders look often exaggerated, to put it mildly. The ridiculous
actions of egg-throwing or organizing faked funeral ceremonies to prevent
the actions of oppositions are followed by criminal cases which cannot be
explained by common reason. The same is true for the anti-opposition
campaign in state-run media. I may be wrong, but it seems that this reaction
roots in peculiarities of the character of Robert Kocharian, who takes every
criticism as a personal insult. Anyway, these actions may bring the
situation to even higher degree of tension (and cause more damage) than it
could be in case if the authorities had a more sober stance.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress