The latest parliamentary elections in Armenia gave weight to the dubious notion that “the rich are the smartest,” writes “Golos Armenii.” The paper says the average Armenian parliamentarian has now the following characteristics: “a neck as thick as an oak,” a “can-sell-and-buy-anyone” attitude; and expensive but tasteless clothes that “sometimes cover tattoos on their bodies.” “Their wealth is counted in tens of millions [of dollars]. They are the ones who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of other, ordinary human beings; they are the masters of life,” the paper says. “For them, a parliamentary mandate is simply a certificate of their belonging to the high society.” Nobody should be surprised, “Golos Armenii” concludes alarmingly, if one of them becomes Armenia’s next president.
“Azg” says the agreement on the coalition government showed that President Robert Kocharian and his allies are not as strong as they appeared to be. The paper says Kocharian agreed to share some of his sweeping powers with the three pro-presidential parties because he feared that their deputies could one day defect to the opposition camp. “So it was necessary to hold the political forces in check right from the beginning. The forces considered to be the [election] winners also turned out to be weak in the sense that they placed themselves under the full control of the presidential palace, once again making the National Assembly an appendage to the executive.”
“Azg” also says it remains puzzled by the ruling regime’s decision to appoint Artur Baghdasarian parliament speaker and give his Orinats Yerkir party three “lucrative” ministries. Dashnaktsutyun, by contrast, was given control over more “ungrateful” policy areas.
“This coalition peace is illusory,” says “Iravunk.” “Representatives of the political forces making up the coalition continue to regard each other without sympathy.” The paper says “friendly intrigues” between will continue in the parliament. They will increasingly think about who will become Kocharian’s successor in 2008.
A senior member of Artashes Geghamian’s National Unity party tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian opposition should be allowed to “participate in state governance” in proportion to the number of votes it got in the elections. Aleksan Karapetian is also skeptical about the future of the new governing coalition.
Geghamian, meanwhile, is quoted by “Haykakan Zhamanak” as saying that Armenia’s leading parties should make sure that “the president of the republic and the defense minister realize that they have nothing to do in Armenia.” “The artificially spread rumors about disagreements between Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian were just a trap for those forces that are unhappy with either Serzh Sarkisian or Robert Kocharian,” Geghamian says.