“Iravunk” looks at the impact of the latest developments in the Karabakh peace process on domestic Armenian politics. “In the purely public relations sense, the Artsakh issue seems to be of no interest to the government camp,” comments the paper. “Because their supreme goal is to divide the [parliament] mandates amongst themselves in the 2007 elections. But there seems nobody mentioning Artsakh in the opposition camp either.”
Hamlet Harutiunian, a Karabakh-born parliamentarian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian side should not be worried about the outcome of the proposed referendum in Karabakh even if the territory’s former Azerbaijani residents are allowed to take part in it. “Karabakh will never again be part of Azerbaijan,” he assures the paper. “All political experts, economists and even shepherds of the world are sure about that.”
“The consolidation of oligarchic structures and the shadow economy is a negative phenomenon,” the deputy chairman of the Orinats Yerkir party, Mher Shahgeldian, tells “Aravot.” “If the next elections are accompanied by falsifications, the Republic of Armenia will simply be thrown out of regional developments. The democratic world could basically lose political interest towards our country. Our key trump card today is democratization.”
“Azg” slams those prominent intellectuals and public figures who have joined Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party. The paper is shocked by their enthusiastic support for Tsarukian voiced at a Prosperous Armenia conference last month. “Everyone now prefers to prosper in advance,” it says in an editorial. “Especially when joining a party the founding leader of which is rich, very rich. Never mind that he occupies a modest 168 place in the list of [Armenia’s top] taxpayers.”
“Iravunk” writes, citing sources close to Serzh Sarkisian, that the Armenian defense minister is confidentially backing attempts by the divided allies of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian to form an electoral alliance. The paper says “the political program of a political resurrection of Levon Ter-Petrosian” therefore has more chances of success. “If Levon Ter-Petrosian is nominated for the presidency in 2008 or earlier, that will give Serzh Sarkisian hope of becoming a kind of positive alternative to that candidate,” it explains.
“Iravunk” claims in a separate report that President Robert Kocharian is now trying to make sure through his aides that Armen Sarkisian, the London-based former prime minister, steers clear of any cooperation with the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Serzh Sarkisian. “Those efforts are coordinated by Justice Minister David Harutiunian who is using his connections with influential politicians, artists and entrepreneurs involved in various international structures,” says the paper.