According to “Hayk,” the July 14 congress of the governing Republican Party (HHK) was postponed because of “disagreements and tension” among its leaders and senior members. It was expected that the congress will elect Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian as HHK chairman. The paper claims that veteran Republicans opposed this as they felt that their party is becoming a “toy” in Sarkisian’s hands. “Besides, the HHK was due to announce at the congress Serzh Sarkisian’s nomination [as the HHK candidate] in the presidential elections. But after long deliberations, they arrived at the conclusion that their premature move would further reduce Serzh Sarkisian’s already low rating.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” says Sarkisian would have to “maintain the status quo in the HHK” if the congress went ahead. The paper says he plans a major shake-up in the party leadership and needs more time to accomplish it. “And in the autumn, he will have the kind of a HHK board which he needs,” it says. “Besides, when forming the HHK last year, Serzh Sarkisian could not have failed to reckon with Andranik Markarian’s interests. The status of those representing those interests now contains a great deal of uncertainty.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that Gagik Tsarukian has told parliament deputies from his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) that he is delighted with the government’s failure to push its controversial media bill through the parliament. “It’s not that Tsarukian is enthusiastic about the non-passage of those amendments threatening freedom of speech in Armenia,” explains the paper. “He is just very happy with the collapse of an HHK bill.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the “fabricated” criminal case against former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian has “finally entered a deadlock.” “The thing is that no judge will now agree to take over the Arzumanian case,” says the paper. It claims that a group of senior judges discussed the case at a meeting this week and were “stunned by the absence of any factual evidence in it.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals that the newly appointed governor of the Shirak region, Lida Nanian, is the sister of Zaven Nanian, chief of a National Security Service department charged with protecting “constitutional order.” “According to reliable information, Zaven Nanian played a large role in his sister’s appointment as Shirak governor,” says the paper.
“Iravunk” reports that the oversight services of Armenia’s parliament, president, prime minister, and the Finance Ministry will be merged into a single agency that could be headed by Arkady Ghukasian, the outgoing president of Nagorno-Karabakh. The paper says another candidate for the job is Vahram Barseghian, head of President Robert Kocharian’s oversight service.