(Saturday, March 17)
“Zhamanak” says that judging from the unfolding nominations of election candidates, the Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties are violating the power-sharing declaration that they signed in February 2011.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on the HHK’s controversial support for dozens of wealthy businesspeople seeking reelection to the National Assembly. The pro-opposition paper scoffs at HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov’s remark that there is nothing wrong with being a businessman. “The existence of businessman-candidates is not a matter of good or bad thing,” it says. “It’s a matter of the constitution as well as political statements and principles.” The paper claims that their involvement in the parliamentary race exposes HHK leader Serzh Sarkisian’s “disrespect” for the electorate. It points to earlier HHK pledges to limit the presence of “oligarchs” in the next National Assembly.
“Aravot” says that “people with a liberal mentality” are a small minority in Armenia which is overwhelmed by “paranoid” political heavyweights. “Apart from sweet praise they are not ready to listen to anything,” the paper writes in an editorial.
“Yerkir” attacks individuals joining various parties of their electoral lists in the run-up to the May 6 vote. “The absurdity of the situation has reached a point where people find it necessary to publicly state that they are thinking about which party to join in order to participate in the elections and enter the parliament more easily,” writes the paper.
“Hraparak” reports on the continuing standoff over the construction of kiosks in a downtown Yerevan park. The paper says that police officers guarding those under-construction properties now outnumber the mostly young protesters.