(Saturday, May 12)
In an editorial, “Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on Hanrapetutyun party leader Aram Sarkisian’s decision not to take up a seat in Armenia’s newly elected parliament and his strong hint that his party will leave the Armenian National Congress (HAK) opposition alliance. “The decision to give up the mandate is understandable because Sarkisian himself has repeatedly stated that he does not fancy himself as a parliamentarian,” writes the pro-HAK daily. “But the pullout from the Congress would at least mean that Sarkisian has a clear plan or vision for his further political activities. But that vision which is not visible at the moment, and the processes going on within the Hanrapetutyun could be assessed only after Aram Sarkisian presents a clear plan of actions.”
Citing statements made by former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian on Friday, “Zhamanak” says the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) will face an internal split if it decides to enter into a new coalition agreement with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper speculates that in that case the BHK could have a pro-opposition “wing” led by Oskanian. “Assuming, of course, that Vartan Oskanian does not renounce his parliament mandate and BHK membership,” it says. “This promises really interesting developments within Prosperous Armenia.”
“Yerkir” says that the executive and legislative branches of Armenia’s government were effectively “paralyzed” during the parliamentary race. “Deputies and ministers did not go to work, and the flow of information from state bodies almost fully ground to a halt,” writes the paper. “The impression was such that not only ministers but also the staffs of state bodies went on vacation. The reason for this effective paralysis was that the entire state governance system was temporarily turned into an informal structure subordinate to the ruling party’s election campaign headquarters … They are not working now either because they are waiting for the formation of the new government, and this shows just how dependent the state governance system is not only on politics but also individuals.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses opposition parties of blaming their electoral fiasco on ordinary Armenians with their allegations of widespread vote buying. “This is dangerous not only because it leads foreigners to have a wrong impression about the moral integrity of the Armenian people but also because it does not allow those politicians suffering from narcissism to see their own appearance in the mirror,” says the pro-government paper.