(Saturday, January 14)
“For the moment the public is silently watching the words and actions of the government and the opposition,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “The authorities certainly realize that they have no real support base and take steps meaningless to Armenia’s citizens.” The opposition paper cites the creation of a new anti-corruption commission that will look into income declarations to be filed by senior officials. “This is yet another publicity stunt whose aims have nothing to do with the country’s interests,” it claims.
“Zhamanak” sees intensifying discussions on the electoral lists of the Armenian parties and blocs that will contest the May parliamentary elections. In particular, some observers wonder if former President Levon Ter-Petrosian will top the list of candidates field by his Armenian National Congress (HAK). “If he doesn’t head the electoral list then the likelihood of squabbles within the Congress will be high because of some biased attitudes shown by Congress leaders towards each other,” says the pro-HAK daily. “In this sense, Ter-Petrosian has no choice but to top the list. Assuming, of course, that there is a real intention to wage a productive [election] campaign.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Galust Sahakian, a leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), insists that the authorities will not accept opposition demands for all 131 parliament seats to be distributed under the system of proportional representation. “The Electoral Code was adopted [in May 2010] and cannot undergo any changes at this point,” says Sahakian. “Furthermore, we were the ones who initiated the increase in the number of proportional representation seats. Over time we have gradually reduced the number of single-seat constituencies to 41. We have thus enabled all citizens … to nominate their candidacies and participate in the parliament’s work.”