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Press Review


(Saturday, July 7)

“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that that the head of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Central Election Commission, Sergey Nasibian, has hit out at officials from the Council of Europe for their criticism of the upcoming presidential election in Karabakh. “Karabakh is a de facto established state,” he says. “Whether or not that state is recognized, shouldn’t it be governed by elected bodies? If they don’t want to recognize a government elected by the people in accordance with the constitution, who will they be working with? With whose representatives will they be negotiating?”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” believes that Armenia’s next president must have either “sufficient will” to accept a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict or the “ability to wage a war in extremely severe conditions.” “The possibilities of a policy oscillation have been exhausted, and our correlation with Azerbaijan is not the same as it was in 1992-1994,” says the paper. “Already in 2009 natural gas flowing into Armenia will become twice as expensive, and the new president, whoever he is, will not be able to make up for that catastrophic price hike in any way. On top of that, Armenia’s agriculture sector will begin to be tax in 2009.”

“It’s been several months since they began making citizens of Armenia come to terms with the fact that Armenia’s next president will be Serzh Sarkisian,” writes “Hayk.” “It seems to Serzh Sarkisian and his inner circle that everything must take place in accordance with a program drawn up in advance. But, says the paper, this will not necessarily be the case. “Robert Kocharian is not yet in a hurry to even hint at who will be the regime’s candidate in [the presidential election of] 2008. Of course, in order to avoid an international outcry, he is ready to resign as president, but intends to occupy the post of prime minister and continue his [political activities] from the government building. And in that case, it will be highly undesirable for Kocharian to see somebody who may not obey his orders become president.”

“Azg” suggests that even if an opposition candidate miraculously wins the presidential election he will be severely hindered by the Sarkisian-controlled parliament. “If the incredible happens and the opposition unites and suddenly wins the presidential election with a single candidate, today’s majority [in the parliament] will remain in its place and hinder that president,” says the paper. “In effect, the latter can not dissolve the parliament with a decree.”

“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that the ruling elite has already been split into two camps loyal to Kocharian and Sarkisian. “In the meantime, Sarkisian is doing everything to win over those remaining in Kocharian’s entourage,” the paper says. “That is why, insiders say, Sarkisian is presenting himself to the ruling elite as the republic’s number one figure. Of course, when Kocharian is not around.”

(Atom Markarian)
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