“A solution [to the Karabakh conflict] is not yet in sight,” Karabakh’s former military commander, Samvel Babayan, tells “Iravunk.” Babayan says the opinion of the Karabakh Armenians must be taken into account “in the first instance.” “If the mediators really want to be helpful, they must first negotiate with Stepanakert and only then with Yerevan and Baku,” he says.
“What is called an election will turn into an ordinary trade and bureaucratic process,” “Aravot” comments on the upcoming legislative polls. The paper points to this Sunday’s mayoral election in the town of Charentsavan where one of the candidates pulled out of the race last week under dubious circumstances. “On Sunday there will be no ballot stuffing, no gunshots, no ‘carousel’ voting, no violence. Moreover, there won’t be number fixing either. Representatives of the area’s dominant clan will simply bus bribed voters to polling stations … This is the model by which the upcoming elections to the National Assembly will be held.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that opposition leader Artashes Geghamian will be invited to the Office of the Prosecutor-General to elaborate on his allegations that Defense Minister Defense Minister ordered oligarch Gagik Tsarukian’s assassination. “We hope that Artashes Geghamian will honor his pledge to provide all necessary materials and evidence that gave him reason to declare that an attempt had been plotted on the life of Gagik Tsarukian,” a spokeswoman for the law-enforcement body is quoted as saying.
“Iravunk” reports that after long deliberations Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian has decided to name Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian as campaign manager of his Republican Party (HHK). “Naturally, this step did not go down well with the Republicans because one of the key HHK figures, Karen Karapetian, thus seems to be kind of sidelined from [electoral] processes,” the paper says.
“Hayk” claims that Justice Minister David Harutiunian will contest the elections as a candidate of the pro-presidential United Labor Party (MAK). “He wanted to be included on Prosperous Armenia’s list, but its leader Gagik Tsarukian stated that representatives of the executive branch must not be on his party’s electoral slate,” the paper says. “Some claim that Tsarukian does not consider Harutiunian mature enough to enter his party list.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that Armenia’s human rights ombudsman, Armen Harutiunian, has departed to London for a three-month training course. “He has thereby confirmed that Armenia’s ombudsman and his office are so idle that the office head can leave for another country for three months and nobody will realize during that period that he his absent from the country,” comments the paper.