“Aravot” anticipates that Armenian political factions will increasingly resort to dirty trick to try to discredit each other in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. The paper says that their leaders are so self-confident and cocky that even a mediocre journalist can provoke them to attack each other.
“Whereas in the past there were only two wings within the ruling party -- the old and new Republicans, the HHK now has Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s wing, former parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian’s wing, the old Republicans, the factions of Serzh Sarkisian’s son-in-law Mikael Minasian and his former chief of staff Karen Karapetian and so on,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” Citing unnamed party sources, the paper says these factions are now fighting to get as many places on the HHK’s electoral list as possible. “Right now it is being decided how many seats Tigran Sarkisian, Hovik Abrahamian and Mikael Minasian will have,” it claims.
“Zhamanak” wonders how the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will react to former President Robert Kocharian’s active involvement in the parliamentary race. “The Congress indicated one or two years ago that Kocharian remains a serious danger for it, almost as serious as the current President Serzh Sarkisian and perhaps more,” writes the paper. “But some time later Levon Ter-Petrosian directly offered a deal to Kocharian’s support base, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Naturally, the HAK’s contradictory posture is raising diametrically opposite questions … When Kocharian becomes active, will the Congress assist Serzh Sarkisian in jointly reining in Kocharian but will try to help Kocharian until it clinches concessions from Serzh Sarkisian?”
Aram Sarkisian, a senior member of the HAK, assures “Yerkir” that he is not aspiring to a top place on the opposition bloc’s list of election candidates. He denies reports that the list will be topped by Ter-Petrosian and Stepan Demirchian. “There is no such decision yet,” he says.
“Will they manage to hold clean, smooth and calm elections?” “Hraparak” asks in an editorial. “Elections whose results will be trusted by the society.” The paper says that the electoral record of the current and former authorities is far from encouraging. It suggests that the May elections are unlikely to be free even if the opposition succeeds in forcing the authorities to enact more changes in the Electoral Code and doing a better job of vote monitoring.