Speaking to “Zhamanak,” Andranik Kocharian, a well-known opposition figure, links the latest series of high-level personnel changes within the Armenian government to an October resolution by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) that said Armenia has overcome the fallout from the March 2008 unrest. Kocharian says this was a signal to President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian (no relation) to take “some steps.” “All this activated the political scene and, as a result, Serzh Sarkisian solved the issue of staving off a possible conspiracy [by the ex-president,]” says the oppositionist.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” mocks government pledges to ensure that next year’s parliamentary elections are free and fair. “At least, Serzh Sarkisian has so far not stated that those committing vote falsifications would be punished,” says the opposition daily. “Instead, he has said that those not working in favor of his HHK would be punished. In sum, everything is really every transparent.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) does not care at all about the proper conduct of the elections. “Although the authorities have repeatedly declared this, the HAK and its propaganda machine … continue to exploit this and other similar topics,” writes the pro-presidential paper. “They are following developments within the government camp so closely, they have engaged in that so wholeheartedly and continue to discuss, evaluate, comment and make forecasts on ‘intra-government squabbles’ in a way that one may think they have nothing else to do.” It says the HAK had better speak of its own preparations for the May 2012 polls.
“Hraparak” discusses government pledges to make the elections the most democratic in Armenia’s post-Soviet history. “Will the authorities and the public at last manage to reach a gentlemen’s agreement whereby the former won’t falsify while the latter won’t be bribed and decide to hold elections whose results will be trusted even by the biggest skeptics?” the paper asks in an editorial. It is worried that the elections will follow what has been a familiar pattern in Armenia since the 1990s.
“Yerkir” says that reforms supposedly carried out by the government may be impressing European officials but they are not making any difference for ordinary Armenians. “We have learned to borrow only the form, the appearance from Europe with the sole aim of deceiving ourselves,” the paper writes grimly.