In an interview with “Hraparak,” Vazgen Karakhanian, a veteran parliamentarian from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), criticizes the HHK’s electoral list which gives him few chances of reelection to the National Assembly. In particular, Karakhanian is unhappy with the inclusion of former opposition politicians and pop singers on the list. “I know and remember their biographies,” he says, adding that President Serzh Sarkisian personally decided who will run for the parliament on the HHK ticket.
HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that there is nothing wrong with Karakhanian and other HHK figures not being placed high on the election list. He insists that many of them may still end up in the next National Assembly if the HHK wins the May 6 elections by a large margin. He also defends the nomination of individuals who are not HHK members or joined the party several days ago. The presidential party is simply nominating “people who will work more productively,” he says.
“Aravot” says that no party can make sure that all of its members are happy with its electoral slate. “Especially in the case of Armenia where individuals, especially those involved in active politics, have exaggerated ideas about their virtues and services,” editorializes the paper.
“Zhamanak” finds “noteworthy” the timing of President Sarkisian’s visit to Moscow aimed at participating in the summit of a Russian-led economic grouping of several former Soviet republics. The paper claims that Armenia’s existing “criminal-oligarchic system” is essential for continued Russian influence on the country. It says Sarkisian’s plans to maintain the system amount to a pledge of continued allegiance to Moscow. “In that context, it is not accidental that the HHK list was published ahead of Serzh Sarkisian’s departure to Moscow,” speculates the paper.