“168 Zham” explains why it thinks President Robert Kocharian mentioned the small United Labor Party (MAK) among its preferred winners of the 2007 parliamentary elections. “For the Armenian president, the MAK is just a spare party where the current Justice Minister David Harutiunian should end up if he finds no other options,” speculates the paper. It says Harutiunian was widely expected to join Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party. “There has been speculation lately that Gagik Tsarukian is categorically against tying David Harutiunian’s political future to his party. He is said to have repeatedly told the president of the republic about that.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s December 26 interview with state television. “In effect, the defense minister is explicitly distancing himself from those politicians who, instead of pinning their hopes on themselves, are looking for foreign backers and sponsors to shore up their positions in Armenia,” says the paper. Sarkisian made it clear that he strongly disapproves of such posture, it says.
“Hayk” complains that every Armenian politician fancies himself a president. “Serzh Sarkisian is no exception to this rule,” writes the paper. “Furthermore, he has all the rights to consider himself equal to Robert Kocharian.” The paper also singles out Sarkisian’s attacks on unspecified politicians seeking external backing. “As if it wasn’t him who was trying to get a go-ahead for his presidential ambitions in Russia and elsewhere,” it notes tartly.
“Aravot” says Armenian entrepreneurs avoid paying taxes in full because they think that their money would not be properly spent by the government. “The entrepreneur does not realize that he is thereby becoming a ‘beast’ who deprives pensioners of a decent life,” the paper counters in an editorial. “If you really want to get the country into shape, you don’t have to take to the streets with flags and brooms. You had better clean up your one square meter [of space] with that broom.”
“Political forces and groups catering for them are preparing to entertain the people with elections without thinking whether the people are entertained by such exercise,” editorializes “Azg.” The paper says elections are supposed to make things better in democratic countries. “However, in our country they serve other, parochial and personal interests that have nothing to do with the electorate. At best, the [Armenian] people expect to avoid worse governance as a result of elections.”