Gagik Minasian, a senior member of the governing Republican Party (HHK), assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s return to active politics would not change much on the Armenian political stage. “There are no miracles in politics,” he says. “Everyone reaps the harvest planted by themselves.” Minasian believes that Ter-Petrosian’s HHSh remains too unpopular to stand a chance of unseating the current government. “The people’s memory is not so short that you can miraculously erase it and convince the people that their opinion about the HHSh must change for some reason,” he says.
“Ter-Petrosian is today the only politician who has the international authority, will and determination to settle the Karabakh conflict, establish normal relations with all neighbors,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Therefore, the ideal variant is for the vast majority of Armenia’s citizens to give Ter-Petrosian a mandate of confidence. In that case, we would live in a totally different country in five years’ time.” But the paper doubts that Armenians agree with this view, saying that many of them continue to associate Ter-Petrosian with the hardship of the early 1990s.
“Hayk” reports that President Robert Kocharian is due to visit Moscow soon and tries to explain reasons for the trip. “Kocharian is still unable, at least mentally, to bid farewell to the post of president and will do everything to retain real power,” writes the paper. “In order to attain his aim, he wants to check [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s mood. It is hard to predict what Putin will whisper to Kocharian’s ear, but Robert Kocharian is clearly not inclined to give up power, no matter how depressed he has looked of late. It is not by accident that he has not yet joined Serzh Sarkisian’s campaign.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says that before going on vacation this month Sarkisian held a meeting of local government officials in the Armavir region and instructed them to make sure that HHK candidate Khachik Manukian wins a repeat parliamentary election that will take place there on Sunday. The paper says that it was Sarkisian who told Manukian to give up his parliamentary mandate which was controversially won during the nationwide May elections. “The Serzh Sarkisian-Khachik Manukian whim has cost our state budget 22 million drams ($65,000),” it adds.
“168 Zham” reports that Samvel Sahakian, a former parliament deputy who now runs one of Armenia’s two main tobacco firms, was attacked and hospitalized with serious injuries last week. “According to rumors circulating now, the incident was connected with the May 12 parliamentary elections,” the paper says. “Sahakian stood, under the majoritarian system, in the electoral district No. 16 where he was defeated by a candidate of the Prosperous Armenia Party, Tigran Stepanian.” It claims that tobacco magnate Hrant Vartanian spent heavily on Sahakian’s election campaign and now wants to be compensated by Stepanian. “Samvel Sahakian was beaten up as a result of yet another dispute over the return of the money.”