“Aravot” does not think that President Serzh Sarkisian has told the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader, Gagik Tsarukian, to endorse his reelection bid or quit his coalition government. “That, as far as I understand, is not Serzh Sarkisian’s work style,” writes the newspaper editor, Aram Abrahamian. “But there is a problem and its essence is as follows. Being in the coalition means having levers … Being outside the coalition means having almost no such levers. I say ‘almost’ because the authorities let Dashnaktsutyun retain some levers [after it left the government in April 2009,] including businessman-deputies and a TV station with nationwide coverage. They thereby underlined that even if Dashnaktsutyun is an opposition party, it’s not a dangerous one.”
“The show is going on,” reads a headline to a “Hraparak” commentary on the BHK’s weekend congress and its implications. “If a BHK exit from the coalition contributes to our development, a national accord and the establishment of democratic institutions, then let it happen,” comments the paper. If the BHK stays in the coalition and fights from within and the country benefits from an HHK-BHK confrontation, then let it stay.” The paper suggests that neither scenario is realistic, wondering whether the matter warrants that much media attention.
“The more the BHK copes with Serzh Sarkisian’s pressure, the more the Orinats Yerkir Party depreciates itself,” writes “Yerkir.” “Any solution except this uncertainty could stem from this party’s interests. If the BHK had given the president an early pledge of allegiance, then these two coalition forces would have had the same status. And in case of the BHK’s departure from the coalition, Orinats Yerkir would have a chance to not only acquire new ministerial portfolios and levers but also raise its price for the HHK.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Garegin Azarian, the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), dismisses amendments to Armenia’s electoral legislation proposed by the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage). Azarian claims that they are practically identical with amendments drafted by the pro-government majority in the National Assembly. “And that means that Zharangutyun agrees with at least most of the bill officially circulated in the National Assembly but lacks the political courage to admit that,” he says.