“Azg” disagrees with the widely held belief that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian is set to be appointed prime minister. The paper says Sarkisian would only “depreciate himself” by occupying the post before the parliamentary elections. “At the end of the day, anyone close to the day-to-day work of the government can be a provisional prime minister,” it says.
“After Serzh Sarkisian becomes prime minister and chairman of the Republican Party, the HHK will finally lose its ideological base and become the property of the defense minister and his entourage,” says “Hayk.” “Under Andranik Markarian, the HHK was somehow able to present itself as a carrier of the nationalist ideology and a party concerned with Armenia’s national interests. But it is already evident that it will not differ from another government force, Prosperous Armenia. It is not hard to suggest that there will be serious shake-ups within the HHK that will leave the few Markarian supporter in full isolation or will force them to pledge allegiance to Serzh Sarkisian.”
According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” Markarian’s death did not change the “game scenario in the Armenian political arena.” “In fact, the game scenario is simple and clear to many people. That is, in 2008 Serzh Sarkisian shall become president of Armenia, Robert Kocharian [shall become] prime minister, and they shall continue to jointly govern the country,” writes the paper. “But clearly the two do not trust each other. That is why Robert Kocharian created Prosperous Armenia and is seeking to have a very serious presence in parliament so that Serzh Sarkisian does not fool him after becoming president and, what is more, becomes president solely thanks to him. For his part, Serzh Sarkisian fears that if he does not win the parliamentary elections, Kocharian will not appoint him even as prime minister.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that Armenians are divided over the importance of the upcoming elections. The paper says some of them think their votes will make a difference and trust one or another party, while others are cynical about statements made by all politicians even if they will eventually go to the polls.
“Aravot” reports that the controversial Environment Minister Vartan Ayvazian is trying to make the most of what the paper sees as his final weeks in office. Citing an Armenian association of investigative journalists, the paper says Ayvazian is looking for buyers of quarries and mines allegedly owned by him. “The minister is personally involved in negotiations [with potential buyers.] Among the buyers is an Indian company, and the price tag put forward by the minister for one of the mines is several million dollars.”