“Hayots Ashkhar” says the current political developments in Armenia revolve around the distribution of senior posts among the winners of the presidential elections. The paper says Social Security Minister Razmik Martirosian, a senior member of the Republican Party (HHK), will be replaced by a representative of the Orinats Yerkir party. The chief of the State Taxation Service, Yervand Zakharian, will take over as mayor of Yerevan.
“Aravot” likewise reports that the current mayor, Robert Nazarian, will be sacked “in the coming days” and that the post of social security minister will go to Sergo Yeritsian of Orinats Yerkir, described by the paper as “the most populist party” of Armenia. But it says Nazarian will be replaced by the chief architect of the Yerevan municipality.
“Aravot” also notes that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has cried foul after the elections but is careful not to blame President Kocharian for the serious vote irregularities. “The Dashnaks do not wish to oppose the president for the moment, simply hinting that Kocharian himself should form a coalition government by taking into consideration services provided by his loyal forces, but not the Republican Party, during the presidential elections,” the paper writes. Dashnaktsutyun may change its stance if Kocharian gives the Republicans a blank check to cobble together the new cabinet.
“Ayb-Fe” says it relished strong criticism of the elections voiced by smaller pro-Kocharian parties. “While being unhappy with the elections, they again do not mention Kocharian’s name,” the paper says. “One could think that the elections were rigged by Stepan Demirchian or Arshak Sadoyan. The fact of the matter is that Kocharian has not stood by those who had backed him with devotion.” The paper also sees a rise in the political clout of Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. He will easily control the National Assembly through his “entourage” -- the HHK, Orinats Yerkir and Artashes Geghamian’s National Unity. This, according to “Ayb-Fe,” means Kocharian will once again find himself in the position of “the Queen of England.”
Sociologist Hranush Kharatian plays down, in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” the significance of electoral fraud for Armenia. Kharatian argues that political parties and individual deputies who benefited from the falsifications would have given way to “people of the same stratum” in the event of free and fair elections. That would not have changed the course of Armenia’s development. In any case, she says, the newly elected parliament will not represent the majority of Armenian citizens.
Ara Abrahamian, the influential Russian-Armenian tycoon, tells “Azg” that the May 25 parliamentary elections were “not radically different” from this year’s presidential elections. Abrahamian, whose Ramkavar Azatakan Party failed to win any parliament seats, complains about the widespread use of “administrative, financial and resources” by unspecified political groups. “I think that the appropriate government structures and the political elite will draw necessary conclusions, if they want, of course, Armenia and the Armenian people to quickly overcome the legacy of totalitarianism and negative factors of the transition period to the benefit of a stable democracy,” Abrahamian says. The millionaire businessman warns that he and his will “once again seriously analyze the nature of our relations with the Armenian authorities and, if need be, possibly reconsider some of their aspects.”