(Saturday, February 25)
“168 Zham” comments on growing TV images that show people across Armenia joining the governing Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties. “While it is somewhat understandable to see middle-aged and elderly people join the parties, one just cannot understand why on earth a teenage woman working as a hairdresser would need a party membership card,” writes the paper. “Fortunately, there are also other young people. You must have seen them in [Yerevan’s] Mashtots Park. They are not party members.”
Deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov tells “Aravot” that the electoral list of the ruling HHK will comprise “people who are determined to expedite the process of reforms under the leadership of the country’s president.” Sharmazanov dismisses as “laughable” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian and several other influential government figures will each have “quotas” on the list. “The HHK is an established political force and not a limited liability company,” he says.
“Yerkir” quotes Hrant Markarian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), as saying that no Armenian party has ever enjoyed backing of the majority of the electorate. “When political forces do not come to terms with this reality and try to raise that number and create a bogus majority by artificial, illicit and immoral means, they thus paralyze the whole political system,” he says an interview with an Iranian-Armenian newspaper. “And all the problems start from there.”
Mher Shahgeldian, deputy chairman of the Orinats Yerkir Party, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that it will nominate candidates in up to 20 single-mandate constituencies during the upcoming parliamentary elections. “There are no oligarchs in Orinats Yerkir but some of our party comrades are businessmen,” say Shahgeldian. “We will also nominate their candidacies in the single-mandate constituencies.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says Armenians would vote for the HHK only for the sake of their businesses, “privileged position,” government posts and other material benefits. As for sympathizers of Gagik Tsarukian’s BHK, they simply do not want the HHK to have a parliament majority. “There are many, many of them,” writes the paper. Only those voting for the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) expect real change in the country, it says.