(Saturday, May 19)
“Hayk” reports that President Robert Kocharian pressed for the formation of a new coalition government during a Friday meeting with Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian, and Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian. “On this issue only Gagik Tsarukian concurred with Kocharian, while Serzh Sarkisian and Vahan Hovannisian agreed with reservations,” says the paper. “During the meeting Kocharian also hinted that it must already be ascertained who will be the authorities’ single candidate in the 2008 presidential elections.”
“Kocharian’s statement strongly hurt Serzh Sarkisian,” continues “Hayk.” “Serzh Sarkisian told several Republicans after the meeting that they must to everything to ensure that there is no alternative to him and that Kocharian finally realizes that his candidacy must not be a subject of negotiations.”
“Aravot” predicts that the Armenian opposition will hardly be more united during the 2008 vote. “The oppositionists are already preparing to repeat their mistake committed in the National Assembly elections: opting for stealing votes from each other and ‘ensuring’ their defeat several months before the presidential campaign,” editorializes the paper. “And yet the first thing the already nominated five oppositionists should have done was to negotiate with Orinats Yerkir, Zharangutyun, and even Dashnaktsutyun. First of all because those parties will have seats in the [new] election commissions.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” compares the list of the BHK’s election candidate to a joint-stock company in which Gagik Tsarukian has a minority stake. “The biggest shareholder, of course, is the chief of Kocharian’s staff, Armen Gevorgian,” writes the paper. It claims that Gevorgian personally drew up the BHK list.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” divides people into two categories: those who fight and those who sell out. “Serzh Sarkisian’s team, for example, comprises professors, academicians who speak a brilliant Armenian, know a number of [foreign] languages and so on, but enjoy humiliating themselves,” explains the paper. “But [former world boxing champion] Israel Hakobkokhian, for example, does not tolerate being humiliated and chooses to fight … The important thing is that there are still those fighting for freedom in Armenia, and their number is growing. And this is already a victory.”