Citing sources in the Armenian president’s administration, “Iravunk” reports that Robert Kocharian has met with Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and “once again” demanded his resignation. “Andranik Markarian declared that he will in no case step down and told the Armenian president that if he wishes so, let him dismiss the prime minister by a decree,” claims the paper.
A senior member of Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK) tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that an HHK congress scheduled for next month may well discuss “the issue of further cooperation between the party and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian.” “Especially given the fact that he participated in the last election of the National Assembly on our party’s ticket,” explains Galust Sahakian. “I don’t rule out that the defense minister will join our party, and in that case he will be immediately included into the HHK council.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Sarkisian will go as far as to become a co-chairman of the HHK along with Markarian.
“Taregir” also reports that Sarkisian will almost certainly join the HHK leadership. “This means that in the 2008 [presidential] elections the HHK will nominate Serzh Sarkisian for the Armenian presidency,” says the paper.
“168 Zham” speculates that the unexpected disclosure by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza of the main points of the proposed Karabakh settlement is related to domestic Armenian politics and may be part of U.S. pressure on Yerevan. “According to our information, the USA plans to turn Artur Baghdasarian, who became an Armenian oppositionist in a matter of days, into Armenia’s next president-in-waiting by uniting him with oppositionists Aram Sarkisian and Stepan Demirchian,” claims the paper.
“Aravot” says the Karabakh deal outlined by Bryza is no better than the one which had been proposed by the mediators in 1997 and advocated by then President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “But it must not become a subject of internal political exploitations in Armenia,” the paper says in an editorial, urging Ter-Petrosian supporters to embrace this peace formula and help Kocharian put it into practice.
“Iravunk” also compares the two peace plans, saying that unlike Ter-Petrosian, Kocharian will never take the risk of publicly making a case for mutual compromise with Azerbaijan. The paper says Kocharian left it to a senior U.S. official “very familiar with our region” to do the job. “There has arisen a quite dramatic situation in Armenia,” it says. “Robert Kocharian, along with the entire government system, is against reviving a draft that died nine years ago, but lacks the real resources, including a minimum amount of legitimacy, to cope with [external] pressures.”