“Hayots Ashkhar” lambastes Armenia’s political class for “forgetting the people and the country” and “dealing only with their own matters.” The have split into two hostile camps. “One of the parties is, in effect, dividing power,” the pro-presidential paper editorializes. “Shamelessness has become a symbol of our time. What was happening in the past behind the scenes, far from spectators’ eyes -- wrangling, slander, persecution and meanness with the help of which government posts were clinched -- has now come to light. Gone are the days when they could be ashamed of something.”
“Now they need to quickly seize positions in the executive branch by acting brazenly, drastically and aggressively,” “Hayots Ashkhar” continues. “They are distributing cash flows which are, frankly, are not abundant in our country. And what else other than hatred towards the government and politics should ordinary citizens feel after seeing how well-fed, posh and perfectly dressed people are going for each other’s throats and citing supreme interests of the homeland to justify this squabble?”
“Azg” writes that Armenian leaders have developed a habit to discuss important issues not in various entertainment places, rather than their offices. They particularly like a restaurant in south Yerevan called Partez (Garden). “Its peacocks, foxes and bears are probably a source of inspiration for many of our statesmen, and its alcohol-filled atmosphere appears to facilitate the work of their brain,” the paper notes bitingly. It was during one such get-together on Tuesday night that they decided who should become the speaker of the newly elected parliament: Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian. Among those who sealed the deal were Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and the supposedly opposition leader Artashes Geghamian, according to “Azg.” Geghamian, it claims, will become a vice-speaker.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that some bakeries in Armenia have ground to a halt due to a continuing rise in flour prices which started after the parliamentary elections. “It is obvious that something strange and alarming is going on in Armenia’s bread market,” the paper says, noting that imports of wheat are controlled by “government clans.” Seventy percent of those imports are carried out by two wealthy businessmen: Samvel Aleksanian (nicknamed “Lfik Samo”) and Mikhail Baghdasarov. Both men are widely believed to be Serzh Sarkisian’s protégés. Their de facto monopoly has put Armenia’s “food security” in jeopardy, “Haykakan Zhamanak” warns.
But “Hayots Ashkhar” denies that there exists such a monopoly in Armenia. The paper blames the surge in bread prices on a “drastic growth” in the cost of wheat in Russia, Armenia’s main supplier. It also calls on the Armenian government to “explain to the public clearly and understandably” the causes of the problem. The government should also take steps to “alleviate its effects.”
“Aravot” says that the Armenian political elite has been too busy with the elections to think about implications of possible U.S. military action against Iran. “Iran is not Iraq for us, just because it is our immediate neighbor with whom we have close economic links,” the paper says. Most local commentators believe that there is little the country can do to influence developments. Armenia simply can not explicitly support Iran or the U.S. “But if the United States ultimately attacks our neighbor, Armenia will in no way be able to remain neutral and will come under at least two fires.” The worst scenario for Armenia, according “Aravot,” is for the U.S. to use Azerbaijani territory in its assault. In exchange for that, Baku would definitely demand U.S. support for winning back Karabakh.