“Hayots Ashkhar” runs an editorial on the “untimely and unfortunate” death of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. “As an advocate of the policy of soft force, the prime minister merged power with the political forces supporting him and at the same time became a politician mitigating the government-opposition disagreements and finding common ground,” writes the paper. “He was able to much easier solve the issues that, as a result of others’ uncompromising and demonstrative stubbornness, became the subject of unnecessary political struggle and confrontation and for years remained unresolved.”
“The loss of Andranik Markarian is being mourned by both the pro-government and opposition camps,” continues the paper. “This attests to the fact that we have lost a serious and balanced statesman.”
“All in all, Markarian was one of those individuals who have settled in government but deep down have a totally different take on ongoing processes, and under some circumstances those thoughts could burst out, something which happened in the prime minister’s interviews on several occasions,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “As an individual, Andranik Markarian was quite likeable and stood out in the government elite with a lack of meanness. And regardless of the evaluations of his political activities, it has to be stated that Andranik Markarian’s death was a truly unfortunate event.”
“I can't remember a single case where Andranik Markarian reacted angrily to any question, was rude, insulted, discriminated between ‘opposition’ and pro-government journalists, or tried to skirt a question,” writes the editor of “Aravot,” Aram Abrahamian. “There was no way the prime minister could invite to his office only the most ‘responsible’ journalists who would ask him only easy questions and would not dare to object.” Markarian always showed respect for opposition leaders as well, notes Abrahamian.
“Azg” describes Markarian as a “man of the people” and says his sudden death will “accelerate some political processes” in Armenia. “In his absence, there will be more elements of deceit in the upper echelons of power, which will threaten to endanger internal political stability,” says the paper.
According to “Iravunk,” leaders of the governing Republican Party began discussing the question of who will be Armenia’s next prime minister just hours after Markarian’s death. “The process went through several stages,” writes the paper. “Right after getting off the plane Serzh Sarkisian went to the president, rather than the HHK office.” The paper says Robert Kocharian suggested Justice Minister David Harutiunian as a possible replacement for the deceased premier, while the Republicans discussed the candidacies of Sarkisian, Hovik Abrahamian and Karen Karapetian.