“Hayots Ashkhar” says the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are trying hard to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the next few months, mindful of presidential elections due in both countries next year. The paper say their immediate objective is to arrange a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on the sidelines of the June 10 summit in Saint-Petersburg of former Soviet republics.
“168 Zham” finds “absolutely natural” the fact that Russian observers acting under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States described the Armenian elections as fully democratic. “Moscow benefits from the current situation in Armenia, the level of multi-faceted inter-state relations. So why change anything?” reasons the paper. “That internal changes in Armenia would raise Russian-Armenian relations to a new qualitative level, rather than worsen them, is not a given. And that is not part of Moscow’s plans because it has only one predictable partner in the South Caucasus.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says leaders of the Armenian opposition must already open negotiations on the nomination of a single candidate in the 2008 presidential election. “That single candidate must embody not personal virtues but agreement, and that agreement must be reached publicly and in writing, rather than orally and behind the scenes,” editorializes the pro-opposition paper. “But in order to achieve this objective, opposition leaders must give up, rather than display, ambitions.” Their “penchant for being the first” must give way to a “readiness to be the last,” concludes the paper.
“All those [opposition leaders] who are now saying that they will definitely nominate their candidacy and are urging others to rally around them are simply helping Serzh Sarkisian become president without problems,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Whether or not they are paid for that is difficult to say.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” says Serzh Sarkisian and other leaders of the Republican Party (HHK) are ready to share power with other forces because they know that their triumph in the elections was achieved by less than legitimate means, even if it was endorsed by the West. “And the public knows what they know,” says the paper. “And what everyone knows is as follows. The HHK would hardly have 100,000 voluntary votes; about 150,000 votes are the result of administrative resources and well-hidden falsifications; and the bulk of its votes was simply bought.” It says that Sarkisian wants to win the presidential ballot with more democratic methods.