“Zhamanak” reports and comments on Armenia’s preliminary decision to apply for participation in this year’s Eurovision song contest that will be held in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. “Should Armenia take part in the Baku contest? It’s difficult to give an explicit answer to this question,” says the paper. “One should simply bear in mind several important facts. An Armenian singer would walk on stage in a country which threatens us with war every day, which constantly insults the honor and dignity of the Armenians, which kidnaps and tortures to death residents of Armenian border regions and whose snipers periodically kill Armenian soldiers.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” contends that former President Robert Kocharian is unlikely to get involved in upcoming political processes in Armenia. “There are creeping rumors that Robert Kocharian will make some statement on the parliamentary elections,” writes the paper. It says that would have little impact on political developments. “All the signs are that the current political cycle will make Robert Kocharian’s status as Armenia’s youngest pensioner final and irreversible and that possibilities of his return to active politics will be eliminated irreversibly,” it says. “Basically Kocharian’s biggest hope is that after successfully passing the test of the upcoming parliamentary elections the BHK [party of Gagik Tsarukian] will back his candidacy in the 2013 presidential elections. But it is not clear why the BHK would do that.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Armenian opposition forces would hardly push for the 100 percent system of proportional representation in the parliamentary elections if they were able to win in even several single-mandate electoral districts.
“Aravot” adds its voice to opposition criticism of John Prescott, the Armenia co-rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). The paper says that Prescott behaved too arrogantly during his latest meetings in Yerevan with opposition politicians and relatives of opposition protesters killed in March 2008. “There was no logic in Prescott’s behavior,” it says in an editorial. “If everything is fine in Armenia, if we are steadfastly moving towards democracy, then why does the PACE adopt resolutions regarding us, set up a monitoring committee and name its rapporteurs? Let it declare instead that there is no need for monitoring and that our status in the PACE is the same as his native Britain’s.”
“Yerkir” complains that Prescott and other European officials dealing with Armenia get too much attention from the Armenian public and political class. The paper compares them with Kremlin emissaries who visited Yerevan in Soviet times and says that they care little about Armenia and are guided by “the cruel rules of realpolitik.”