According to “Golos Armenii,” Armenia’s parliament has grown so dependent on the executive branch that it now looks “more like a dying biosystem than a body of democratic governance.” “In our parliament, people strongly believe that their work is not mandatory at all,” the paper comments scathingly. It fears that in five or ten years from now “the concept of an educated deputy will mean science fiction” in Armenia.
“Hayots Ashkhar” forecasts that there will be no “serious fight” between the Armenian government and the opposition on May 12. “With exactly two months to go before the elections to the National Assembly, we are in a situation where on the one hand, the already slim opposition chances of victory are dwindling and on the other, pro-government forces are making methodical efforts in the regions,” says the paper. “Namely, in every street, neighborhood, district and village. All of this will bear fruit on May 12 … Therefore, the main objective of the authorities and political forces supporting them is to ensure the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that President Robert Kocharian has succeeded in achieving “two important objectives needed for the reproduction of his regime.” “To prevent the opposition forces from uniting and to squeeze as many loyal people as possible into the electoral lists of the two main [pro-government] parties, the HHK and Prosperous Armenia,” explains the paper. “This will allow Kocharian to keep those forces under constant control.”
“168 Zham” reports that in a bid to woo many voters, Dashink party leader Samvel Babayan will state that the next president of Armenia must not be a native of Nagorno-Karabakh. “In all likelihood, Babayan and his party will thereby attempt to distance themselves from the so-called Karabakh clan and to guard against allegations that they secretly collaborate with some governing circles,” says the paper. It says Babayan will also declare that he is not aspiring to any government position in Yerevan. His “sole dream and desire” is to become the next president of Karabakh, according to “168 Zham.”
“Aravot” reports that Seyran Saroyan, a retired army general who is running for parliament on the HHK ticket, handed out cash to female schoolteachers in his town of Echmiadzin in connection with International Women’s Day. The paper says he then invited them to a dinner party. “At the end of the party the already drunk retired general, forgetting where he is, with whom and for what, fired rounds from a pistol,” it says. “The scared pedagogues tried to find refugee under the tables and chairs.”