“Azg” says that with Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s appointment as prime minister the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will acquire “greater political weight” but at the same time risk losing popular support. The paper argues that many Armenians are less than supportive of Sarkisian. “So the question is whether Serzh Sarkisian’s appointment as prime minister will reflect positively on the HHK’s image or will have the opposite effect,” it says. “In this sense, how appropriate was it for the HHK to nominate Serzh Sarkisian at this juncture? After all, the latter could have used his levers for the HHK at the shadow level and not born much responsibility for that.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” considers the attempt on the life of Gyumri Mayor Vartan Ghukasian an “extremely serious wake-up call to the state and the society.” The paper points to a “legend that it is extremely difficult and almost impossible to solve a contract killing.” It says such killings are fuelled by “dirty money” which abounds in Armenia. “Maybe that is the reason why [such] crimes are not solved,” it muses.
“Whoever the assassination attempt was directed against, it has to be noted that lawlessness and anarchy reign in Armenia, and criminal clans settle scores wherever and whenever they want,” writes “Hayk.” The paper reports that Ghukasian supporters prevented journalists from taking pictures at the site of the shooting and in the hospital where the mayor is currently convalescing. “They also terrorized doctors, threatening to blow up the hospital if they fail to save his life,” it says.
“Taregir” laments what it says is a lack of “political debates” in Armenia in the run-up to next month’s parliamentary elections. “The consequences of a multi-party struggle, involving dozens of parties, have put the voter on the brink of indifference,” writes the paper. “Who needs the salvation plans of those parties when their abundance starts to affect voter activity?”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports on the unexpected decision by a candidate of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) to withdraw his appeal against the official results of the March 25 mayoral election in Armavir. “People in Armavir have two opinions,” says the paper. “According to the first one, Gagik Tsarukian got scared of challenging the future Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, who is behind the rival candidate, and, realizing that he will lose that challenge, ordered the lawyers hired by himself to withdraw the appeal. According to the other theory, Tsarukian reached an agreement with Armavir’s incumbent mayor to the effect that if the latter recoups his campaign expenditures, he will withdraw the appeal.”
But “Zhamanak Yerevan” comes up with its own theory: “The court [in Armavir] was uncovering the kind of vote falsifications to which the authorities will resort in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Their disclosure and condemnation of their perpetrators could have set a bad precedent for those people that will be involved in falsifications planned for the upcoming elections.”