Parliament speaker Tigran Torosian assures “Aravot” that the governing Republican Party (HHK), of which he is the deputy chairman, has not kicked off its election campaign too early. “We do everything on time,” he says. Asked who will be the number one figure in the party after Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s admission to the HHK, Torosian says vaguely: “There is nothing extraordinary in the defense minister’s affiliation with the Republican Party. Of course Mr. Sarkisian is an influential politician. The HHK, for its part, is an influential, if not the most influential, political force.” Sarkisian’s decision to join the HHK is therefore “very natural,” he says.
Hmayak Hovannisian, a maverick parliamentarian reportedly familiar with Sarkisian’s thinking, comments in a “Haykakan Zhamanak” interview on rumors that President Robert Kocharian has told the defense minister to join a party or resign. “Robert Kocharian has no moral right to create such a dilemma for Serzh Sarkisian,” says Hovannisian. “Such a demand by Robert Kocharian would be justified if he offered Serzh Sarkisian to give up the post of defense minister in 2003, when the latter became his pre-election campaign manager. He did not do that at the time.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports, citing “well-informed sources,” the governor of the southern Armavir region, Albert Heroyan, has organized a two-day holiday in an Armenian resort town for the mayors of 97 local villages whom expects to work for him in the run-up to next year’s parliamentary elections. The paper says Heroyan plans a similar jamboree for the directors of regional schools.
“Azg” quotes an official from the Armenian government’s Department on Migration and Refugee Affairs, Ruzanna Petrosian, as saying that only four ethnic Armenian citizens of Lebanon have applied for a temporary residency permit in Armenia so far.
“I think there is no need to panic because the Armenian neighborhoods of Beirut as well as the site of the [Armenian Cilician] Catholicosate, Armenian spiritual centers have not been bombarded,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gegham Gharibjanian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “They have suffered no casualties as yet.” Gharibjanian says the Armenian government is also ready to assist in the evacuation of Armenians living in Israel. He says the Armavia national airline will carry out a charter flight to Tel Aviv for that purpose on July 23.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that the Public Service Regulatory Commission allowed on Wednesday the British-registered company Midland Resources Holding to sell Armenia’s power distribution network to a subsidiary of Russia’s Unified Energy Systems (UES) utility.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” explains that the decision was a mere formality as Midland and UES cut the controversial deal one year ago.