“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian opposition failure’s to form a united front predetermines its defeat in the approaching elections. “By failing to unite, the opposition parties have done everything to fit themselves into the political map drawn by Kocharian, essentially proving that they are entering parliament only for the sake of a few mandates,” writes the paper. “Kocharian already promised some of them those few mandates two months ago. So those ‘some’ could not resist the temptation.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that having failed to win over Stepan Demirchian, the “radicals” led by Aram Sarkisian turned to former speaker Artur Baghdasarian. The paper says Sarkisian’s emissaries visited Baghdasarian at the headquarters of his Orinats Yerkir Party on February 24 in a bid to convince him to join them. “But as someone who is not always devoid of common sense, the latter categorically refused to join in, saying that Orinats Yerkir will stand in the elections alone,” it says. “The guests left the meeting, which lasted for 40 minutes, empty-handed.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” refutes its own report which said Demirchian failed to join an opposition alliance in return for being allowed by the authorities to import petrol. Paylak Urusian, a friend of Demirchian’s who allegedly planned to run the business, is quoted as saying that he stopped engaging in petrol imports four years ago. “I don’t sell even sunflower seeds,” says Urusian.
“Taregir” says May 12, 2007 will go down in history as anything but a milestone in the development of democracy and human rights in Armenia. “When the TV companies set extremely high prices of political advertising, it already became obvious that 2007 will be a special one first of all in terms of financial expenditures,” explains the paper. “There is already talk of astronomical shadowy sums that are being channeled into the pockets of the main screenwriters of the electoral processes.” The paper claims that buying a parliament seat may now cost as much as $1.5 million this time around.
“Aravot” reports on rumors that Armenia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Artur Aghabekian is the main candidate to succeed Arkady Ghukasian as president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The paper quotes an unnamed source as saying that an appropriate agreement was reached this week by Robert Kocharian and leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, of which Aghabekian is a member. “In return for the post of NKR president, during the upcoming parliamentary elections and the ensuing months Dashnaktsutyun will not demand a greater role [in government] than it has now,” it claims.