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Press Review


According to “Aravot,” Armenia’s governing coalition ceased to exist with the departure of Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party. The paper argues that one of the provisions of a 2003 power-sharing agreement signed by Orinats Yerkir, the HHK and Dashnaktsutyun stipulates that the coalition shall be disbanded if one of its participants leaves the government. “It is simply unclear on what basis the HHK and Dashnaktsutyun are preparing to divide and get hold of posts left over from Orinats Yerkir,” it says, suggesting that the two governing parties sign a new power-sharing deal with Robert Kocharian.

As if to counter these claims, the HHK’s parliamentary leader, Galust Sahakian, tells “Iravunk” that the coalition can operate “within the framework of the same agreement” without Orinats Yerkir. “That said, the scope for mutual agreements is increasing and others will also get the existing [government] levers: the People’s Deputy [parliamentary group], the United Labor Party,” he adds.

“I can’t be in opposition,” Education Minister Sergo Yeritsian, who has defected from Orinats Yerkir to retain his post, is quoted by “Haykakan Zhamanak” as saying.

“Golos Armenii” recalls former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s famous answer in 1996 to a question from Yeritsian, who was a television journalist at the time: “Dear Sergo, you won’t live well as long as the Karabakh conflict is not resolved.” “He was wrong,” comments the paper. “Sergo has lived well both under Levon and afterwards.” The paper believes that none of Armenia’s political leaders is now immune to the kind of “treason” which it says was committed by Yeritsian. Never before has Armenian politics been “so far away from morality,” it concludes.

“Of course this was a conspiracy of sorts against Orinats Yerkir,” another Orinats Yerkir leader, Mher Shahgeldian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.”

“168 Zham” says that what happened to Orinats Yerkir demonstrated that Armenia lacks a genuine “political system.” “Especially pro-government parties are devoid of the right to freely express any view without agreeing it with the presidential palace,” says the paper.

“Surely Robert Kocharian is aware that not only an opposition victory in the 2007 elections but also a complete victory of the HHK-Serzh [Sarkisian] tandem is dangerous for his future,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Two steps are being simultaneously taken so that tandem does not garner more votes than were envisaged: Artur Baghdasarian is being sent to the opposition and [ex-Karabakh army chief] Samvel Babayan’s PR campaign is drastically intensifying.”

“It is still hard to tell whether Artur Baghdasarian resorted to this step willingly and consciously, or this is simply a consequence of some agreement,” wonders “Taregir.” The paper suggests that Baghdasarian’s exit might be part of a secret plan, approved by Kocharian, to “attack the presidential post from opposition positions.”

“The parliamentary crisis will certainly liven up political life,” political expert Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “But things will get back to normal within one or, at best, two weeks.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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