“Hayots Ashkhar” expects “scandals” in the new Armenian parliament, saying at the same time that the majority of lawmakers will come under strong pressure to pass “draconian laws.” “The deputies will try to slip out [of the government’s hands] by resisting stubbornly and pretending that they protect interests of the voters who will definitely be robbed by those new laws,” the paper predicts pessimistically. “But the laws will be passed anyway and the voters will be amazed to learn that they can be worse off than they were before.”
“Azg” speaks out against the very concept of a coalition government formed as a result of multi-party bargaining. The paper believes that senior posts in the executive will not be given to the most competent individuals. It says those who are dividing the government pie are concerned with maintaining the dominant status of the Republican Party, satisfying Orinats Yerkir’s ambitions and “not hurting” Dashnaktsutyun. For the Republicans, the paper says, Orinats Yerkir is a more acceptable partner in terms of “effectively dividing power.” “Dashnaktsutyun has both stable material and human resources, whereas Orinats Yerkir is a force anchored in populism. And populism is not only an unstable category but is also easy to unmask. That is, such forces can always be turned into scapegoats.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian confirms that his party has reached an accord with the Republicans that will give him the post of parliament speaker. Baghdasarian also confirms that his candidacy was suggested by President Robert Kocharian.
“Iravunk” reports that about 20 members of the new parliament not affiliated with any party will form their own group, the People’s Deputy. It will be led by Karen Karapetian, head of the eponymous group that existed in the previous parliament. The paper says the People’s Deputy, also loyal to Kocharian, will claim some of the top posts in the National Assembly. “Iravunk” also speculates that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian is bent on “enhancing his status” and could seek the authority to oversee the law-enforcement in his capacity as the secretary of the presidential Security Council.
“Aravot” notes that the disaffected pro-Kocharian groups, which failed to enter the parliament, do not blame the president for their failures. They instead direct their anger Prime Minister Andranik Markarian who they believe was personally responsible for the allegedly rigged elections. The paper calls this stance a “primitive fairy tale,” saying that nothing important happens in Armenia without Kocharian’s blessing.
“Ayb-Fe” claims that there has been an increase in murders in Armenia lately. That, the paper says, is the result of “an atmosphere of impunity” which manifested itself during this year’s elections. There is also “an abundance of firearms” in the country. Its leaders themselves hand out guns and pistols to their cronies. In addition, the Armenian system of law-enforcement is “profoundly rotten.”