“Haykakan Zhamanak” says almost all political groups that will sit in Armenia’s new parliament are “categorically against” electing Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian as its speaker. “Now Baghdasarian is considered for the post of deputy speaker of the National Assembly,” the paper says. “His party will be offered three ministerial posts: agriculture, social security and health care. It may also get the posts of Yerevan mayor and several vice-ministerial positions…The Republican Party will probably retain all of its posts.” As for Dashnaktsutyun, “Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that it will get the post of the parliament’s second vice-speaker and chairman of its foreign relations committee as well as retain control of the ministries of urban development and education.
According to “Aravot,” Orinats Yerkir will only benefit from not securing the speaker’s post. Instead, the paper says, it will get the ministries of health, social security and environment as well as the Yerevan municipality. “Aravot” also says that Dashnaktsutyun will keep its two ministerial portfolios and get the posts of vice-speaker and committee chairman in the National Assembly. In addition, the paper predicts, Dashnaktsutyun members will become deputy heads of six ministries and governors of three provinces. “The power ministers will remain in office. Including Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. Unless, of course, he decides, at the last moment, to get hold of the parliament or the post of prime minister.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says all major parties must now ascertain whether they are with or against the current regime. This is particularly true for disaffected pro-Kocharian groups. “Otherwise, the well known practice of blaming failures on each other and mutual competition may again repeat itself,” the paper explains.
“Iravunk” believes that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian has now “the strongest positions.” He has already stated bluntly that he will remain prime minister and is setting conditions for the composition of his reshuffled cabinet. In essence, the paper says, this was an “ultimatum” to Kocharian. It leaves Dashnaktsutyun with a difficult choice between sharing responsibility for the government’s policies with the Republicans and losing government posts.
“It is still not clear for whom the parliament was formed: the people or the authorities,” “Azg” writes cautiously.
Aram Sarkisian, an outspoken leader of the Artarutyun (Justice) bloc, makes a case for the annulment of the election results in an interview with “Ayb-Fe.” Sarkisian calls for a fresh parliamentary vote. “In that case, Robert Kocharian will simply become irrelevant, a person who has failed to perform his constitutional duties,” he says. “And constitutional order should be restored by stripping the illegitimate regime of power. We are moving only in that direction.” Sarkisian reiterates that his Hanrapetutyun party stands for the boycott of the new parliament. “It makes no sense to create good laws when there is no one to enforce them,” he argues.