“Ayb-Fe” writes that political life in Armenia has entered a standstill following a dramatic election period, the main winners of which are President Robert Kocharian and parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian together with his Orinats Yerkir. The Republicans, Serzh Sarkisian and Dashnaktsutyun are less of winners because they expected to get more. As for the opposition Artarutyun and National Unity, they have registered not only losses. They may draw comfort from the fact that “in a country where everything is possible they too could have been left without [parliament] mandates.” The most bitter defeat was suffered by the people who, according to the paper, have been left “without a government, without an opposition, without hopes, and without illusions.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Prime Minister Andranik Markarian should be among the most disgruntled Armenian politicians these days. The post-election political deals have reduced his influence and he will likely take steps to reinforce himself in the coming months. “Andranik Markarian is going to rally political forces unhappy with Robert Kocharian,” the paper says. “This first of all applies to the pro-government parties of the so-called second echelon. The prime minister intends to show shortly that some members of the government, notably Orinats Yerkir and Dashnaktsutyun ministers, are unable to run their respective areas of responsibility and to call for the need to form a government of technocrats.”
Strangely enough, “Haykakan Zhamanak” continues, the same non-Republican ministers may be helping Markarian achieve his goals. “Some of them have already managed to acquire a fool’s reputation. It is obvious that the activities of the [Orinats Yerkir] ministers of culture and education and science have aroused certain disaffection inside those [bureaucratic] structures.” The paper claims that Markarian will encourage their employees to revolt against their bosses.
Culture Minister Tamara Poghosian is already facing attacks by “Golos Armenii” which says that she is “incomparably worse” than all of their controversial predecessors. However, another commentary in the same paper says the formation of the coalition government marked “a new success” for Kocharian. “When Kocharian became prime minister in 1997 he didn’t have a team. Now he has one,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments that the recent rise in bread prices proved that “it is too early to speak of fair [business] competition in Armenia.” “Having privileged positions, one or two companies can dictate the market a pricing policy beneficial for them. And there are no effective levers to fight against that.”