“Azg” anticipates a large-scale buying of votes by parties and wealthy individuals in the run-up to and during next year’s elections. “Everybody will be handing out cash,” the paper says, referring to both pro-government and opposition parties.
“Aravot,” meanwhile, quotes opposition leader Aram Sarkisian as again making a case for a “democratic revolution” in Armenia. “Armenia has no alternative,” says Sarkisian. “Look at economic developments in the region.” Armenia has been left out of regional economic projects, he says. “This can not continue endlessly. Parties are now busy engaging in proselytism, largely acting as employment centers, if they have power levers. Opposition parties, which are constantly accused of passivity and unemployment, have long been divided into pro-government and people’s parties.”
“Intra-government differences are emerging to the public arena,” “Iravunk” editorializes in connection with President Robert Kocharian’s latest statements. “Very soon, in late August or early September, Robert Kocharian may well carry out some personnel changes in security structures that will tip the balance in his favor. As for the parliamentary elections, Robert Kocharian will gain a lot if nobody manages to have a decisive influence on their outcome, including by means of vote falsifications. Only in that case will it be possible to form a ‘patched-up’ majority in the National Assembly which will be unable to name a prime minister without Kocharian’s intervention.” That, speculates the paper, would enable him to stay in power after 2008.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” makes the point in an editorial that ordinary people breaking the law must not expect their rulers to be law-abiding. “A citizen of the Republic of Armenia stealing water has no right to accuse an official embezzling the state budget,” say the paper. “With almost all Armenians stealing today water or something else, our chances of having an honest minister are terribly slim, almost negligible,” it adds. “We must not only note who plunders what but think how many people in the country will not behave in the same manner if they find themselves in the same position.”
Citing unnamed government sources, “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the chairman of the Armenian Central Election Commission, Garegin Azarian, has said privately that the parliamentary elections will likely take place in January.
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at possible reasons for the obvious increase in the number of high-profile murders registered in Armenia. The paper suggests that local nouveaux riches are “not quite afraid of the law-enforcement system” and have a growing “sense of impunity.” The state, for its part, may not be doing enough to hold them in check. Armenian media and television stations in particular may also be contributing to the atmosphere of impunity, concludes the paper.