“Aravot” is worried about the possible return to politics of Mher Sedrakian, a controversial businessman and former local government chief who has long been branded by his detractors as a crime figure. “Given the criminal tendencies of this individual and his entourage, one can predict for certain how elections in [Yerevan’s] Erebuni administrative district would be held,” editorializes the paper. “Presidential or parliamentary ones, regular or extraordinary ones … Banning such people from participating in elections would definitely be a blatant violation of the law.” But they can and must be punished for their active involvement in vote rigging reported in the past, the paper says.
“Zhamanak” discusses a possible deadlock in the putative dialogue between the government and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). The pro-HAK daily stresses the fact that President Serzh Sarkisian has not yet personally commented on the subject. It says that even statements made by Sarkisian’s chief of staff, Karen Karapetian, should not be taken seriously. “So although everyone in the government has spoken out, the government itself hasn’t,” it claims.
“This fixation on a personal response from Serzh Sarkisian is a consequence of the fact that they in the HAK can’t come to terms with the fact that responses to [Levon] Ter-Petrosian come from the likes of Eduard Sharmazanov and Galust Sahakian,” “Yerkir” writes in this regard. “And that fixation, that desperation is driving the HAK into illogical actions. At first, they were saying that they expect a response not from individuals but the [ruling] coalition. Then they started contending that only Serzh Sarkisian is the government and not the coalition … If things continue like this, the HAK won’t be satisfied even if Serzh Sarkisian gives it a promise with his hand on the Bible.”
“The HAK-government dialogue could become a real disaster for small and medium-sized political structures and groups in Armenia,” claims “Hraparak.” The paper says those groups will be driven out of the political arena if the two political heavyweights agree to “divide power” ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections. “It’s good in terms of the consolidation of political forces,” it says. “But it’s definitely bad in terms of political diversity.”
“Kapital” notes that the tightening of monetary policy by the Armenian Central Bank has had little impact on inflation this year. “And so the Central Bank has decided to stop at the current level [of interest rates,]” says the business daily. The bank’s benchmark refinancing rate is currently set at 8.5 percent.