“Zhamanak” says President Serzh Sarkisian’s chief political objective now is to ensure that the new National Assembly to be elected on May 6 is as loyal to him as the outgoing one. The paper says the victory of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) is critical for the success of Sarkisian’s plans to win a second term in office next year. It argues that the president cannot count on the unconditional support of his predecessor Robert Kocharian and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) during the 2013 presidential election.
“Serzh Sarkisian does realize that both Prosperous Armenia and Robert Kocharian could possibly make friends with, say, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) if they see an opportunity to come to power thanks to that friendship,” continues “Zhamanak.” “Because of that Serzh Sarkisian has to earn the HHK an absolute majority [in the parliament] before sitting down with Prosperous Armenia and serenely offering it options for the process of post-election power sharing.”
“Hraparak” carries an interview with Mher Sedrakian, the controversial former mayor of Yerevan’s Erebuni district backed by the HHK. Sedrakian is running for parliament in a local single-mandate constituency. His sole challenger is HAK candidate Manushak Petrosian. Sedrakian tells the paper that there are no other candidates in the running because he is a “popular person.” “Why would they make unnecessary [campaign] expenditures?” he says, adding that he is not as “terrible” as he is portrayed by the opposition.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” dismisses as a joke police chief Vladimir Gasparian’s assurances that the Armenian police will be “impartial” during the upcoming elections. “That exceedingly impartial structure has already had a chance to participate in the preparation of elections, publishing voter lists that has given the Armenian public unforgettable moments of fun,” says the opposition daily.
Citing the Special Investigative Service (SIS), “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the deputy commander of Armenian interior troops, Vanik Manukian, has been under arrest since March 3 on charges of embezzling weapons and ammunition. The paper notes in this context that the interior troops commander, Garegin Gabrielian, was sacked by President Sarkisian earlier this week. It quotes Gabrielian as refusing to comment on whether there was any connection between his sacking and Manukian’s arrest.