“Azg” lambastes Armenia’s current and former leaders for “throwing mud at each other” instead of suggesting solutions to the country’s problems and explaining how they would improve the plight of its population. “They must not bug the voter, they must stop and change their posture,” says the paper, warning the two rivals against dividing the nation.
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that most of Armenia’s top opposition leaders have not heeded Levon Ter-Petrosian’s call to endorse him for the presidency. “The fact that each of Armenia’s influential political forces will act with its own candidate in the elections will further complicate the former president’s political calculations,” says the paper. “The reason is obvious. Although Ter-Petrosian has promised not to argue with other [opposition] candidates and forces, the latter are rejecting his pacifist objectives and are preparing to fight not only the government candidate but also Levon Ter-Petrosian in order to have a place in the sun.” Ter-Petrosian will therefore have to shoot back at his opposition rivals, it says.
“Aravot” reacts sarcastically to Samvel Babayan’s decision to merge his Dashink Party into the Ramkavar Azatakan Party. The two parties have laid claim to the status of a “third force.” “Everyone is seeking to gain that sublime status ahead of these elections,” comments the paper. “There can be no third force in politics. There is only the government and the opposition and both of those statuses are equally respectable. But there are figures who consider being close to the government a bit inconvenient and think it dangerous to act like an opposition. Hence, their fairy tale about a third force.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” alleges that Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian will be the presidential candidate of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian if he is nominated by his party. “According to reliable sources, the prime minister is seriously lobbying Dashnak circles in support of his in-law Vahan Hovannisian,” claims the paper. It says Sarkisian wants to make sure Dashnaktsutyun supports him in the event of a run-off vote. The paper also claims that Hovannisian’s rapport with the other potential Dashnaktsutyun candidate, Armen Rustamian, is “extremely tense.”
“168 Zham” contends that the renewed sharp appreciation of the Armenian dram is “devoid of any objective grounds” and is the result of the authorities’ alleged efforts to “collect money ahead of the upcoming elections.” The paper says the Central Bank of Armenia made an important decision last week which will only encourage local commercial banks to convert their U.S. dollar assets into drams and thereby add to the greenback’s depreciation. “Therefore, one should brace for a new wave of dollar depreciation courtesy of the Central Bank,” it says.