“Iravunk” contends that Armenia and Azerbaijan are not closer to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict than they were five or ten years ago. The paper argues that President Robert Kocharian will step down in less than one year from now and is unlikely to become prime minister given the outcome of the May 12 parliamentary elections. It says Kocharian now has no choice but to help Serzh Sarkisian succeed him as president. “Therefore, Kocharian will never sign any document that could create an emergency situation in Armenia in advance of the presidential elections and scuttle Serzh Sarkisian’s plan to become president.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Armenian opposition is trying to rationalize its election defeat by accusing ordinary people of taking vote bribes en masse. “This stance is dangerous not only because it creates misconceptions among foreigners about the moral characteristics of the Armenian people but because it prevents those politicians, who are acting like narcissist peacocks, from looking at themselves in the mirror,” writes the paper.
“Taregir” claims that the Armenian authorities may try to discourage opposition election flops like Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian from joining the radical opposition by offering them or their parties government posts. “In effect, Serzh’s main problem was and is Dashnaktsutyun,” says the paper. “The party of war has long put its feet into one shoe and is continuously and consistently demanding the defense minister’s portfolio. Nonetheless, Dashnaktsutyun comprises not only warriors but also professionals who are ready to content themselves with [controlling] entrance examinations [to state universities.]”
According to “Iskakan Iravunk,” Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) continues to “haggle” with Dashnaktsutyun and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) over the terms of their participation in his new cabinet. “And although the HHK is offering these parties bigger [government] quotas than it did in the beginning, it is quite likely that the HHK will have to form the government single-handedly,” editorializes the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that after “lengthy negotiations” Kocharian and Sarkisian have agreed to give the post of parliament speaker to the outgoing Justice Minister David Harutiunian. The paper says one of Harutiunian’s two deputies will be affiliated with Dashnaktsutyun, which will also control “two or three ministerial portfolios.” “It is likely that the post of justice minister will be occupied by Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian,” it adds. “Such an offer has been made to him. But Hovsepian has given no response yet.” Another influential official, Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian, will likely take over as minister of agriculture, according to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.”