“Aravot” says it is now clear to everyone that there will be no pre-term elections in Armenia. “For the past two years, the Armenian opposition has hoped that Serzh Sarkisian will sign some defeatist agreements or that [Vladimir] Putin and [Dmitry] Medvedev will tell him to go,” editorializes the paper. “But in all likelihood, neither scenario will materialize.” It says that Moscow supports Sarkisian and that the latter does not need the West’s support in such circumstances.
“Aravot” goes on to predict that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) will win only 10-15 parliament seats in the 2012 elections which it says will be rigged by the authorities.
“Zhamanak” says the Armenian government is organizing various entertainment shows to deflect the people’s attention from economic hardship. “The less they think about that, the less they will complain about the authorities,” reasons the pro-opposition daily. It says among such shows are bitter verbal exchanges among pro-government politicians and government officials.
Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, assures “Iravunk” there has never been any cooperation between the HAK and the government camp. “They just want to draw us into their games, which is not working,” he says. “Our party is monolithic and we will stick to our program and ideology up until the 2013 elections,” adds Zohrabian. “By contrast, within the Congress, which is only a collection [of opposition groups,] there are already doubts about their leader. Have you seen the Republicans talk about any [presidential] candidate other than Serzh Sarkisian? That is, they [HAK figures] are competing with each other, rather than us.”
In an interview with “Hraparak,” Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian insists that there is no evidence whatsoever to back jailed opposition leader Nikol Pashinian’s claims that he was assaulted in the Kosh prison. “We maintain that no such incident took place,” he says. Nevertheless, says Danielian, the Justice Ministry and the prison administration are ready to conduct “an additional forensic examination” of Pashinian and his prison cell.