“Aravot” comments on U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza’s remark that the OSCE Minsk Group’s existing peace proposals are fair and balanced. “The trouble is that not all Armenian presidential candidates are familiar with the document on the table and they are therefore unable to see whether it is really fair and balanced,” writes the paper. “But that does not keep candidates from making accusations against each other relating to new and old [Karabakh peace] documents, which have not been fully disclosed. The parties will be unable to prove themselves right as long as those documents are not officially published.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” President Robert Kocharian’s national security adviser, Garnik Isagulian, claims that none of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s eight challengers seriously expects to win the Armenian presidential election. They are all vying for the “honorable second place,” says Isagulian. “It is clear to everyone that the winner will be Serzh Sarkisian,” he adds. Turning to Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies, Isagulian says they views the election as an opportunity to topple the government with street protests.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that members of the Republican Party (HHK) are strongly discouraged these days to even mention the party’s previous, deceased leaders: Ashot Navasardian, Vazgen Sarkisian and Andranik Markarian. The paper says most of them are duly complying with “Serzh Sarkisian’s order.”
“Hayk” reports that Ashot Aghababian, a senior Republican and parliament deputy, has begun collecting the passport numbers of voters in his constituency in northwestern Armenia and telling them to promise to vote for Sarkisian. “He is promising to compensate them with 10-20 dollars [per vote] after the elections,” claims the opposition paper.
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” bus drivers in the southern Ararat region are being forced to fill up only in liquefied gas stations belonging to another top Republican, Deputy Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian. “Abrahamian is known to own all bus routes in the region, and his gas stations are located in the regional village of Shahumian and the Masis district” explains the paper. “It appears that Abrahamian has decided to accumulate as much money as possible before the elections.”