(Saturday, November 3)
“Hayots Ashkhar” carries an interview with Samvel Nikoyan, secretary of the parliamentary faction of the ruling Republican Party, who, in particular, comments on the change proposed in the Election Code, according to which the presidential candidate can be nominated by a political party and not by a bloc of parties. “Our approach is that in general a candidate should be nominated by a party that will bear clear responsibility for his activities, that is, it will clearly say: ‘This is my candidate.’ Other parties can support him if they want.”
Otherwise, according to Nikoyan, “the picture will be distorted” as it will not be clear for the public as to “what program the candidate will implement if he is elected and what party’s policies he will be pursuing.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” gets the impression that after ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s September 21 speech and especially after the opposition rally on October 26, everything returned to where it should be. The paper’s commentator writes that these events have, in reality, revealed the opposition candidate, while the government will be participating in the upcoming presidential election with several candidates. “In fact, all those ‘opposition’ candidates who intend to be nominated serve the same purpose – to split the opposition electorate and facilitate the job for [Prime Minister] Serzh Sarkisian,” the paper claims.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reprints excerpts from an analytical piece recently published by the Regnum news agency, which, in particular, refers to the possible developments in Armenia in the run-up to next year’s presidential election.
“Levon Ter-Petrosian’s steps are aimed at taking several bricks out of the pyramid of power and pyramids – in this case the government and administrative apparatus – are known to collapse with ease. Ter-Petrosian’s another big trump is the team of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, or rather its absence,” a Regnum analyst writes, explaining that most members of Sarkisian’s current team are deserters from the former ruling party, ‘businessmen with nicknames’ and ambitious young politicians who gather around a person with power rather than with ideology. “In contrast, the positions of the first president are more solid. Without being in power, he has gathered around himself really loyal politicians, something that cannot be said about Serzh Sarkisian.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” comments on the nomination of Ishkhan Zakarian for the position of head of Armenia’s Audit Chamber: “[President Robert] Kocharian named for this post one of the people he trusts, despite the fact that he has only three months left in office. The head of the Audit Chamber is elected for a period of six years. If he [Kocharian] really supported Serzh Sarkisian and believed in his victory in the upcoming presidential election, he would have entrusted the Republican majority to have a nominee to this position.” Meanwhile, according to the paper’s analyst, Kocharian views the parliament not as a political body and a separate branch of power that must be reckoned with, but as a body that rubberstamps his personal decisions. And it does not matter what the Constitution actually says.”
“Aravot” calls into question the assurances of the former governor of Lori, Henrik Kochinian, who says he owns no business. “Any resident of [the region’s center] Vanadzor knows by heart the names of all facilities that he owns. For example, many people in Vanadzor say a number of mines in the province belong to Kochinian, though formally they are registered to his relatives’ names.”