“It looked more like a card game than the expression of a civilized voter’s equally civilized will,” writes the Dashnaktsutyun newspaper “Yerkir,” continuing to criticize the authorities’ handling of the May 25 elections. “As a result, corruption, which was on an unprecedented scale in the country, has reached a new qualitative level. It is now time to recoup the money [spent on the elections].” People who sold their votes to wealthy candidates will soon feel the “boomerang effects” of their behavior.
“Iravunk” claims that the post-election bargaining over the distribution of senior government and parliament posts has caused “serious tension in the government camp.” “In particular, Artur Baghdasarian’s candidacy for the post of parliament speaker could lead to a quite serious clash because according to an information leak, at least some Republicans treat it negatively, while Dashnaktsutyun is far from harboring deep affection towards Baghdasarian,” the paper writes.
“Azg” reports that Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir party has refuted its Tuesday report that Armenia’s leadership, including Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and Artashes Geghamian, agreed to install him as parliament speaker at a secret meeting in a Yerevan restaurant.
Geghamian also angrily rebuts the claims in an interview with “Iravunk.”
But as “Orran” reports, the Orinats Yerkir leadership is “ready to do everything” to have Baghdasarian elected as speaker. The paper quotes Baghdasarian as saying that the Republican lawmakers will vote for him. The paper comments that it is wrong to think that the outcome of the elections weakened President Robert Kocharian. Quite the opposite, it says. Kocharian “will need only seconds” to form a loyal majority in the National Assembly. The Republicans’ self-confident rhetoric is just a gimmick. Most senior members of that party own lucrative businesses and are therefore dependent on the presidential administration.
“Haykakan Zhamanak,” however, reports that the Republican leadership again rejected Baghdasarian’s candidacy at a meeting on Thursday. The paper claims that it nominated Prime Minister Andranik Markarian for the post of speaker and suggested that Kocharian appoint Serzh Sarkisian as new premier.
Citing unnamed “reliable sources,” “Hayots Ashkhar” says that in order to resolve this “deadlocked situation” the pro-Kocharian parties could agree to give the post of speaker to a non-partisan deputy. Someone who is “more or less known,” has a long experience of legislative work and “does not cause antipathy from the parliament factions.” The man meeting these criteria is Karen Karapetian, the leader of the People’s Deputy group of independent deputies in the previous parliament.
“Aravot” is worried that the authorities can buy off the opposition Artarutyun alliance with “second-class posts.” “The most likely scenario is that Artarutyun will be split after entering the parliament,” the paper predicts.