Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Ernest Soghomonian, a parliament deputy from the pro-presidential Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), notes that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s political comeback is primarily sought by those parties that suffered a humiliating defeat in the May parliamentary elections. Soghomonian says other opposition leaders like Aram Karapetian, who came close to passing the 5 percent vote threshold, have no intention to back Ter-Petrosian.
According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” talk of Ter-Petrosian’s possible participation in the 2008 presidential election has caused quite a stir in Armenia’s “political labor market.” “That means the authorities are really scared this time around,” says the paper. “Otherwise, they would not turn to that workforce for help. For example, what would former parliament deputy Shavarsh Kocharian do if Levon’s theme did not exist? … It is also interesting to know what Aram Karapetian would do if the authorities did not fear Levon Ter-Petrosian.”
“Aravot” reports that an opinion poll conducted by the APR Group organization found that less than 30 percent of Armenians believe that their government is formed as a result of free and fair elections. About 74 percent of them feel that Armenia’s citizens are “not protected by the law.” Eleven percent said they would vote for Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian if the presidential election was held this Sunday. Sarkisian was followed by opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian (8.4 percent) and Levon Ter-Petrosian (2.9 percent). Almost 38 percent of respondents were undecided.
“Our sources point out that every time somebody appeals to Serzh Sarkisian with a legitimate complaint or a request to solve one or another problem, the latter totally agrees with petitioner and does not try to rationalize government mistakes,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “After this he unexpectedly states that he doesn’t like what is happening and that if things depended on him they would not have such manifestations.” The paper calls this a pre-election ploy, saying that it won’t be surprised if Sarkisian starts blaming President Robert Kocharian for serious problems facing the country.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” claims that Seyran Saroyan and Manvel Grigorian, two influential army generals who have until now been close friends, are heading for a “big clash.” “General Manvel is unhappy with the behavior of Seyran Saroyan, who … doesn’t realize who he is dealing with and has gone too far on some issues,” says the paper. And so Grigorian has decided “show Saroyan his place.” The paper says Grigorian’s men have already beaten up two individuals close to Saroyan.