Political analyst Andranik Tevanian tells “Yerkir” that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is now less susceptible to pressure from President Serzh Sarkisian than it was in February, when BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian pledged to support him in the 2013 presidential election. “Today the situation is different,” says Tevanian. “[Levon] Ter-Petrosian no longer has massive support, while the policies pursued by the authorities have been discredited further. The BHK has managed to overcome the shock that arose after the signing of the coalition declaration [in February.] And if any pressure is exerted on the BHK, it will produce opposite effects.” Tevanian insists that the BHK would refuse to sign another election-related deal with Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK).
“Hraparak” claims that the ruling coalition “almost blindly believes in the continuation of the dialogue” with Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). Gagik Minasian, one of the coalition negotiators, is quoted as saying that he and his colleagues have not yet finished the presentation of their written arguments against the holding of early elections demanded by the HAK. The paper wonders why that document has still not been made public.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on suggestions that it is the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff, Yuri Khachaturov, and not Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, who is primarily responsible for the continuing non-combat deaths of soldiers. “This is the dominant view in virtually all Defense Ministry structures,” writes the paper.
“Zhamanak” speculates that the visits to Yerevan by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns testify to the greater interest shown by France and the United States toward Armenia. “Why is it so?” the paper asks in an editorial. “Is it connected with Serzh Sarkisian’s upcoming visit to Moscow? The thing is that serious developments loom in that direction as [Vladimir] Putin, who is regaining the presidential post, has decided to restore the Soviet Union, albeit with a different name and structure.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” former Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian comments on calls for radical changes in Armenian libel legislation. Danielian says that while there may be shortcomings in those laws and their enforcement by courts “the main problem is the moral-psychological atmosphere.” “Even if they manage to make the legislation perfect within a short period of time, we will still not overcome all obstacles until we create a tendency to prefer civilized solutions and high professional skills.”