“Azg” considers “understandable” the decision by several senior government officials to follow Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s example and join the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “The fact is that the country’s president, who didn’t feel confident for a long time after the  presidential election, has step by step, little by little gained strength and self-confidence by not letting anyone get close to him at first and then becoming so stronger that he can now create a core of loyalists that are more Republican that the Republicans,” writes the paper. It says Tigran Sarkisian’s and his teammates’ affiliation with the HHK will “humble” those Republican elements that are not averse to “playing their own games” and help President Serzh Sarkisian form a more tightly knit support base.
Speaking to “Kapital,” HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov plays down his party’s recent squabbles with its main coalition partner, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) of Gagik Tsarukian. “The modern history of Armenia shows that a [governing] coalition can consist of different political forces and be refreshed or renewed from time to time but I don’t see such a thing happening at this point,” says Sharmazanov.
He also dismisses as “ludicrous and ridiculous” renewed talk of former President Robert Kocharian’s political comeback. “It is the people that form government,” says Sharmazanov. “Since 1995 the people have brought the Republican Party to power. The Republican Party won the 2007 parliamentary elections and in 2008 Serzh Sarkisian was elected president as the joint candidate of the Republican and Prosperous Armenia parties.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” attacks Levon Ter-Petrosian’s loyalists for going after Kocharian instead of promoting the opposition leader’s last speech. The pro-establishment paper is specifically unhappy with their examination of the price lists of Western travel agencies organizing safaris to Africa and questions about how Kocharian paid for such trips. It finds inappropriate opposition claims that Kocharian should not lead an extravagant life now that the Armenian and Karabakh governments are raising funds in the Diaspora for new infrastructure projects in his native Karabakh.
“Zhamanak” reports that the Karabakh parliament adopted a statement on Wednesday warning that the unrecognized republic will pull out of the negotiating process and take other “adequate” steps if Azerbaijan continues to threaten a new war. The paper is unimpressed by the warning, saying that the authorities in Stepanakert should instead publicly protest against being effectively left out of the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations.