“Hayots Ashkhar” has low expectations from most of the men that are filling senior government positions vacated by the Orinats Yerkir party. “It is not that hard to find good [ replacements],” writes the paper. “But it will takes courage to appoint them to pivotal positions. One must place the country’s interests above those of one or another party or person. That is not quit happening at the moment.”
Galust Sahakian, a leader of the Republican Party (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” in that regard that a fourth ministerial portfolio given to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) will cement the uneasy rapport between the two governing parties. Sahakian commends Dashnaktsutyun for remaining in the ruling coalition.
“Interestingly, Levon Mkrtchian is always appointed as education minister right before elections,” observes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper also notes that Mkrtchian’s two previous stints at the helm of the Education Ministry lasted for less than two years.
“Businessman-deputies were paying [cash to] Orinats Yerkir not because they were great benefactors,” editorializes “Aravot.” “For them, one of the ruling parties was a tutelage for hiding and not transferring revenues to the state budget. Today Orinats Yerkir is not a governing party anymore and those people therefore need a new godfather, a new tutelage.” According to the paper, the HHK is the largest and wealthiest of such tutelages.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Karen Karapetian confirms reports that his People’s Deputy parliamentary group has been offered senior posts in return for lending support to the coalition. “There are some proposals,” he says. “We are still discussing them.”
Another lawmaker, Melik Manukian, explains to a “Haykakan Zhamanak” reporter why he and nine other wealthy deputies decided to defect from Orinats Yerkir. “If your editor tells you that you have to jump into an abyss, fire or water, will you agree?” he asks. “No, I won’t,” says the reporter. “Then everything must be clear,” replies Manukian. Asked whether for the defectors Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian’s opposition-style statements are tantamount to committing suicide, he says vaguely: “Let’s not go that far. Don’t say such pretentious things. There are issues, problems. You don’t quit [a party] for nothing.”
“Ayb-Fe” reports that an expensive car belonging to the chief executive of a commercial bank owned by “oligarch” Mikhail Baghdasarov was seriously damaged in an apparent overnight arson attack. “The causes of the fire are not known,” says the paper.
“Ayb-Fe” also quotes Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian as again denying any connection with a new pro-establishment party set up by some of his close associates. “I have friends in all parties,” he tells the paper.