“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Audit Chamber of the Armenian parliament began on Wednesday “large-scale inspections” in central Kotayk province, which has long been seen as the stronghold of Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian. The head of the chamber, Ishkhan Zakarian, is quoted as telling officials in Kotayk that his agency will be looking into the use of budgetary funds allocated by the central government and other financial records of the provincial administration. The paper says the development underlines mounting government pressure on Tsarukian connected with his reluctance to endorse President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection. It notes that Zakarian is a former senior member of the BHK.
Former parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “168 Zham” that there would be nothing wrong with the end of the BHK’s political alliance with Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “Very often the severance of coalition ties testifies to the existence of healthy inter-party relationships and competition,” says Torosian. “Unfortunately that doesn’t exist in Armenia.” He also says that the BHK has reason to be unhappy with its presence in the government.
Hrayr Karapetian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Hraparak” that the opposition party will contest next year’s parliamentary elections on its own. If there are parties willing to join us, we will discuss that issue. But our independence during the elections is beyond doubt.” Karapetian also says Dashnaktsutyun will wait until the 2012 elections to decide whom to nominate or support in the 2013 presidential election.
In an interview with “Aravot,” human rights activist Vartan Harutiunian rejects government criticism of civic groups vocally campaigning against non-combat deaths of Armenian soldiers. Harutiunian the Armenian government and military should only blame themselves for their failure to root out army crime. “This is a terrible phenomenon that must be publicized and criticized,” he says.
Davit Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Azerbaijan will use its temporary membership in the UN Security Council for anti-Armenian “propaganda purposes.” “One should expect that they will start an unpleasant process of trying to divert the negotiating process from its natural course and move it to the UN,” says Babayan.