“Yerkir” says the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) party’s intention to contest the 2012 parliamentary elections on its own means that “there will be competition” and a virtual end to “the coalition authority.” “This will in turn lead to a crisis of responsibility for government failures,” speculates the paper. “But this position still does not clarify whether we will see a real competition or its imitation.” It says such an imitation would “turn the elections into a theater and ruin the entire electoral system which is already rickety and devoid of public trust.”
“In effect, [BHK] leader Gagik Tsarukian will not end his silence and talk about political developments before the end of the year,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Tsarukian is clearly playing for time. And since he is doing that willingly one can presume that time works in his favor.” Sooner or later he will have to clear up his position. “In that case he would come under fire either from the Republican Party or the [Armenian National] Congress,” says the paper. It notes that former Robert Kocharian has also not spoken out “for quite a while.”
Heghine Bisharian, the deputy chairwoman of the Orinats Yerkir Party, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that there is still no “political agreement” among the three coalition parties to jointly participate in the parliamentary elections. “If such an issue comes up, then it will be discussed and a decision will be made,” she says. “During the elections competition will be sound and honest.” Bisharian says the three parties already pledged to stick to “civilized principles” in their joint February 2011 declaration.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” accuses the Republican Party (HHK) of starting to spend government money on “pre-election bribes.” “It has emerged that several months ago the HHK-affiliated Education Minister Armen Ashotian urged the Republican Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to increase budgetary allocations to education and student stipends in particular,” writes the pro-opposition paper. “The prime minister did not object. But this has been done only for the elections.” It says that the government has earmarked 60 million drams ($157,000) in additional funds for scholarships that will be granted to low-income university students next year. It claims that they will be expected to vote for the HHK in return.