“Iravunk” says this week’s two main issues on the Armenian political agenda, the distribution of more senior posts among the three coalition parties and passage of a government bill on mass media, have barely attracted any public interest. “Prime Minister Andranik Markarian shows that he has a flexible workstyle and not only avoids burning bridges [linking him] with political forces but is also building new ones,” the paper comments. “Not only he doesn’t want to spoil relations with the parliamentary opposition but also the political camp headed by Levon Ter-Petrosian. After all, it is impossible to count on the coalition partners forever.”
“Dashnaktsutyun is seeking to get gold of power levers and drastically change the balance of forces in its favor, while the chairman of the Orinats Yerkir Party, Artur Baghdasarian, is using the powers of the National Assembly speaker to the benefit of Orinats Yerkir and himself, rather than the coalition,” “Iravunk” continues.
“Yerkir” joins the chorus of criticism of the media bill adopted by parliament this week. The paper says some deputies spoke so passionately in favor of the legislation as if it was the journalists who commit serious electoral violations and are guilty of government corruption. The paper also questions the sincerity of opposition lawmakers that accused the authorities of muzzling independent media. All of this part of the ongoing “struggle for power” in which journalists are being exploited by both sides, it concludes.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the parliament vote on the media law threatens to cause a new rift between the parliament’s two opposition forces, the Artarutyun bloc and the National Unity Party. The paper explains that if the latter had joined Artarutyun deputies in boycotting the vote, it could have failed for lack of a quorum.
“Ayb-Fe” says the opposition forces are so busy fighting each other that they seem to have forgotten their pre-election promises. “If things continue like this, then pretty soon the people will not be able to tell who opposes and who supports the government in the National Assembly,” the paper says. “There is an impression that [Stepan] Demirchian, [Artashes] Geghamian and other oppositionists who got parliament mandates are more concerned with defeating each other than the authorities.”