“168 Zham” says the United Labor Party (MAK) has become Armenia’s third governing party despite its leader Gurgen Arsenian’s bizarre claims that is not part of the ruling coalition. “It is crystal clear that the authorities gave the MAK [government] posts not for its beautiful eyes,” comments the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that another, much bigger parliamentary force, the People’s Deputy, seems to have finally refused to accept any of the positions that have been left vacant by the Orinats Yerkir party. “However, those posts will not remain unclaimed,” the paper. “The authorities managed to find a new claimant in a matter of hours.” The government, it says, needs a stable parliamentary majority and the six parliament seats controlled by Arsenian will definitely not hurt.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” recalls that as recently as five months ago President Robert Kocharian warned Orinats Yerkir and its two coalition partners to stick together until next year’s general election. Orinats Yerkir’s exit from power shows that Kocharian’s admonition did not have a desired effect, says the paper. It also claims in a separate report that Artur Baghdasarian’s party was driven out of power by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) which wanted to “get hold of Orinats Yerkir’s [government] assets.” “In the event, the operation was a success and Dashnaktsutyun got new posts.”
“Iravunk” reports that one of the wealthy parliamentarians who has defected from Orinats Yerkir, Melik Manukian, has joined the Prosperous Armenia party of “oligarch” Gagik Tsarukian. The paper says Tsarukian also looks set to attract at least defector from Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s Republican Party.
Another defector , Grigor Markarian, complains in an “Aravot” interview that Armenians are getting the impression that the businessmen who were affiliated with Orinats Yerkir until this month “have neither a personal opinion nor brains.” “Isn’t that shameful?” he says, attacking critics. He explains that he and his colleagues quit Orinats Yerkir because it changed its political orientation.
“Azg” believes that the Armenian parliament should have enacted a law would automatically strip defectors of their parliament mandates. The paper says a parliament deputy elected to the National Assembly from the proportional list of a particular party must not have a right to leave that party and retain his seat.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian dismisses talk of a possible dissolution of the assembly and fresh elections. Torosian argues that Armenia’s recently amended constitution spells out cases where the president of the republic can disband the legislature and none of them is applicable to the existing political situation.