“Serzh Sarkisian is well aware that he stands no chance of being elected Armenia’s president,” claims “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Under no circumstances will the public vote for him. No PR campaign will save Serzh Sarkisian in Armenia. He can be photographed with a meaningless smile against the backdrop of tanks, tour villages with Armenian chess players by his side, express smart thoughts on prospects for the state’s development and so on. But this will be a useless exercise.”
“Iravunk” reports that Konstantin Zatulin, a hard-line Russian parliamentarian, confirmed in Yerevan that he presented Sarkisian with a roulette wheel during the latter’s recent visit to Moscow. “True, he said that the present was given as a joke, but that does not change the meaning of that present,” the paper says in a thinly veiled reference to Sarkisian’s alleged weakness for gambling.
“Aravot” reports that the governor of the southern Ararat region, Alik Sargsian, has opened two new businesses in the regional capital Artashat. “I do only good things,” Sargsian says, confirming the information. “I don’t take shares in other people’s businesses. I don’t destroy, I don’t demolish. I build. You can come and tour the region. Whatever good thing you’ll is done by me.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” a new residential building constructed in downtown Yerevan is owned, de jure, by Samvel Mayrapetian, the owner of one of Armenia’s main private television stations. But, says the paper, the real owners of the expensive property are senior officials from President Robert Kocharian’s administration. It claims that they have allowed builders to destroy a nearby public park and build a car park for the building’s future residents in its place. “Mayor Yervand Zakharian has found a canny solution. The thing is that the [late] great novelist Hrant Matevosian lived in a Pushkin Street building adjacent to the construction site. The mayor has pitched the following idea to the ‘elite’ building’s owner: to propose to the novelist’s relatives to destroy the park, build an underground car park and erect a statue of Hrant Matevosian on top of it.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Zakharian believes that this would allow the authorities to offset protests from local residents and, if necessary, deflect their anger to the Matevosian family. “The latter have categorically rejected the proposal submitted to them,” concludes the paper.