“Zhamanak Yerevan” says the Armenian authorities are primarily motivated by “family and clan” considerations, rather than state interests in pursuing their policies. “According to that mentality, the sacred cow is only the family treasury,” says the paper. “Everything beyond that is subject to misappropriation or addition to the family treasury. That is why top representatives of that government place the family above the state … Maybe that is why they are fiercely resisting state building.”
“Hayk” says that the upcoming Armenian version of the U.S. “Forbes” magazine will publish the list of Armenia’s ten wealthiest men. Six of them are high-ranking government officials: President Robert Kocharian, Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Transport and Communications Minister Andranik Manukian, Justice Minister David Harutiunian, customs chief Armen Avetisian and Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian. But it is oligarch Gagik Tsarukian who tops the list. According to the paper, he is estimated to be worth between $400 million and $500 million. “Serzh Sarkisian’s fortune, according to the same source, is $150 million, while David Harutiunian is worth $75 million.”
“If Robert Kocharian wants to do a huge disservice to Serzh Sarkisian, then within the next year he will sign a document on the principles of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, even a declarative one entailing no consequences,” editorializes “Aravot.” “The question is whether or not Kocharian will want to do that disservice to Serzh Sarkisian.” The paper believes that he will not. “Not just because even the most general principles will contain mutual concessions. Armenia’s current president lacks the political will to go for concessions. No less important is the fact that during the handover of the presidential post only Serzh Sarkisian can be the guarantor of Kocharian’s immunity.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian again required urgent medical aid and did not do to work on Monday and Tuesday. The paper says Markarian suffered from strong stomach pains following the weekend conference of the Yerkrapah Union of Karabakh war veterans. He had to undergo a check-up at a Yerevan hospital. “Doctors concluded that the acute pains were the result of a cold,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” suggests that Armenia’s leading opposition parties will fail to field well-known joint candidates in all of the 41 single-mandate constituencies during the upcoming parliamentary elections. (The idea was floated by some of them as a way of complicating electoral fraud and boosting opposition presence in the National Assembly.) “Not just because internal bitter disputes give the oppositionists no chance to close ranks. It’s just that they realize that none of them will win the popular vote even if they stand in their own neighborhoods,” says the paper.