“Aravot” says $55,400 found in the home of the arrested former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian pales in comparison with “millions of dollars” spent by pro-government candidates on their election campaigns. “When criminal elements that are in the government’s pocket spend millions [of dollars] of unknown origin on getting reelected and eventually reinforcing that government, that is alright [for the authorities,]” editorializes the paper. “When foreigners with some interests in Armenia send money to solve political issues here, that is a crime. They must therefore find legal mechanisms to make such phenomena impossible with regard to all forces, both in government and opposition, instead of fabricating ludicrous accusations.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratian opines that the governing Republican Party (HHK) will not form a new government on its own. Bagratian says the HHK will offer to share power with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and possibly the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “Given the strategic potential of the parliamentary parties, the HHK can most effectively cooperate with Dashnaktsutyun and the Zharangutyun party,” he says.
According to “Hayk,” Dashnaktsutyun leaders are divided over whether their party should join the HHK-led cabinet. “Some Dashnaks are convinced that there is no need to be part of the government and hurt the party’s already low rating before the presidential elections, while others are in favor of joining the coalition,” reports the paper. “Representatives of the latter wing believe that in this case Dashnaktsutyun will be able to oversee the presidential election process and achieve a desirable result for its candidate.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that the price of flour in Armenia has gone up by 15 percent since the parliamentary elections, saying that government officials blame the increase on external factors. But, says the paper, many Armenians feel that the authorities themselves engineered the price hike in order to recoup their pre-election expenditures.
“This is nothing but a process of recouping vote bribes and other expenditures made during the pre-election period,” agrees “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper also points to a renewed appreciation of the Armenian dram, which it says will add to massive profits made by wheat and fuel importers. It claims that those importers financed a large part of the campaign spending of the main pro-government parties.