“Hayots Ashkhar” hails Wednesday’s three-party declaration on forming a coalition government. The paper says the deal not only marked the end of this year’s electoral process but also reaffirmed Armenia’s course of development set by President Kocharian in 1998. The paper says the three coalition parties can no longer blame each other for the grave problems facing the country. Together they possess a “serious political resource” giving them a mandate to make far-reaching decisions. Armenia, the paper says, now has “an optimal balance” of power between its branches of government, which minimizes the possibility of conflict between them.
But there is also a down side of the coalition government, “Hayots Ashkhar” continues, pointing in particular to the three parties’ right to name and recall their ministers at will. Those ministers might thus be torn apart between their government duties and interests of their party.
“Aravot” comments that the declaration outlining the goals of the coalition is short on specifics. It is just a “list of nice wishes” to which any Armenian party can subscribe. Nor is it clear what each of the parties will be responsible for. Orinats Yerkir, for example, promised to drastically increase pensions during the election campaign, while the Republicans dismissed the pledge as populist. The paper wonders who will be held accountable after the pensions fail to grow as fast as was promised by Orinats Yerkir. After all, it is Dashnaktsutyun that now controls the Ministry of Social Security.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the political mechanism for the formation of the coalition was as far away from international standards as the parliamentary elections. The paper claims that relations between the HHK, Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir “remain tense.” “That was visible during yesterday’s ceremony,” it says. “The only glue that can hold together this coalition is money. More precisely, the possibility of making money. Each of the forces making up the coalition is conscious that if it quits [the government] it will lose the spheres which now feed it financially. And this could prove to be a stronger glue than some people think.”
According to “Azg,” it is Kocharian who is the dominant force in the new government. The paper is skeptical about the three parties’ assurances that they will work out a common program. For example, the Dashnak pre-election slogan -- “Let’s change our life” -- is not necessarily in tune with the HHK’s intentions. The coalition, the paper says, is built around short-term goals.
“The purpose of this renewed parliament is not to solve Armenia’s problems but to stay in the president’s pocket,” writes “Ayb-Fe.” “The electoral performance is over. Everyone has played their role successfully. And the best prize for that performance was the affirmation of a political coalition.”