(Saturday, November 17)
Political analyst Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s return to politics has far-reaching implications for Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian. “Levon Ter-Petrosian is a public figure and will obviously not buy village mayors and will work in a totally different manner, in the ideological field,” he says. “He is pushing forward an ideology and trying to pull Serzh Sarkisian into that field.” Asked by the paper if Sarkisian will agree to play in that field, Iskandarian replies, “You know, Serzh Sarkisian can respond to that in different ways. He can, for example, keep silent or give a thousand answers, violating certain accesses, which also is an ideology.”
Sarkisian’s position, in the analyst’s views, boils down to the following, “Yes there are mistakes. But what the state is doing is on the whole correct and we are on the right track.”
Another pundit, Hmayak Hovannisian, is asked by “Haykakan Zhamanak” to comment on Ter-Petrosian’s offer to other opposition heavyweights to serve as president only for three years if they endorse his presidential candidacy. “That is a mechanism for consolidating the opposition,” says Hovannisian, adding that other opposition leaders’ reaction to the offer will be a “kind of litmus test” of their opposition credential and commitment to regime change. “This is the mechanism which will help to bring together real opposition figures and uncover those figures who want to participate in the presidential elections in order to divide the opposition camp and disorient the electorate,” he says.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” dismisses the hype surrounding Ter-Petrosian these days as a “vanity fair.” The government paper says the ex-president’s associates’ expectations are now so unrealistically high that “when they are ordered to applause they kneel and worship.” “This is what is called lip service, and if the former president has decided to surround himself with such servile people and gauge his rallies with their yardsticks, then his comeback is really doomed to failure,” it says. “But the former president is not a contemporary young man and knows well about the time to get serious. And what seems to him to be a mission may turn into a failed magic as a result.”
“The macroeconomic indicators registered [in Armenia] over the last ten years have negated Levon Ter-Petrosian’s claims that Armenia can not cope with pressure from Azerbaijan’s economic growth based on oil reserves and that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must therefore be solved quickly,” Artak Davtian, a parliament deputy from the governing Republican Party (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” Davtian says Ter-Petrosian is not sticking to his belief even though “life has shown that Ter-Petrosian’s ideas were wrong.”
Citing “well-informed sources,” “168 Zham” reports that tax authorities have launched financial investigations into companies owned not only by pro-Ter-Petrosian tycoon Khachatur Sukiasian but oligarchs close to the ruling regime. The paper says those include HHK members Ruben Hayrapetian and Mher Sedrakian as well as Mikhail Baghdasarov and Hrant Vartanian.