“It seemed at one point after the May 12 parliamentary elections that Armenia’s political scene underwent a sanitary cleaning,” writes “168 Zham.” “Because regardless of what political forces are represented in the National Assembly, those elections had one good consequence: merchant politicians left the political arena. But as soon as Levon Ter-Petrosian declared after keeping silent for ten years that he has not made a decision yet and then added that the only way to get rid of these authorities is a consolidation of all existing healthy political forces around a single candidate all unhealthy, anti-social and reckless elements became active.”
“Aravot” editorializes that the authorities are attacking Ter-Petrosian by means of “quasi-oppositionists” like Artashes Geghamian and Shavarsh Kocharian, rather than the three parties represented in the government. The paper says the purpose of this tactic is to discredit the opposition and claim the moral high ground. “There is also a more far-reaching goal: to avoid a direct debate,” it says. “Naturally, not about street lighting.”
“Hayk” believes that it is wrong to call the current activities of the entire state apparatus as a preparation for the 2008 presidential election. “In reality, the rulers and forces serving them are busy hypnotizing the people,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at the government’s pledge to raise its revenues by 47 billion drams ($140 million) next year. “This is a serious increase and it certainly contains elements of risk,” says the paper. “The problem is not that such revenues are not generated in the economy. It’s just that crude [state] intervention could have serious economic consequences, especially considering the fact that economic entities in Armenia usually operate, so to speak, under different taxation regimes and make use of written and unwritten laws.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that despite government assurances that the price of natural gas will not change before 2009, it will go up after the 2008 presidential election. “And quite considerably,” says the paper. Citing government sources, it claims that the price hike will come into force on April 1.