“Zhoghovurd” says the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) cast doubt on its declared opposition credentials when BHK deputies overwhelmingly voted to elect Hovik Abrahamian as the new parliament speaker on Thursday. “If the BHK has really decided to aspire to becoming a serious counterweight to the [ruling] HHK in forthcoming political developments, then political logic suggests that it should have not only refused to vote for a candidate nominated by a rival force but also come up with its own candidate for the post of National Assembly chairman,” the paper writes in an editorial.
“In terms of pluralism, this parliament will, of course, qualitatively differ from all previous parliaments,” Davit Harutiunian, a senior HHK deputy, tells “Iravunk.” Turning to the BHK and its new political status, Harutiunian says, “It’s hard to tell how we will work with the BHK. But one thing is clear: when they say they are constructive, it’s an interesting approach. As for what it impact that will have, I will say the following. The [parliamentary] majority is shouldering much greater responsibility in this sense.”
“Zhamanak” says President Serzh Sarkisian will risk angering the public if he fails to expedite major policy and personnel changes ahead of next year’s presidential election. “That would mean that in the presidential election Serzh Sarkisian is not going to improve the public rating environment in which it held the parliamentary elections,” says the paper. “That would in turn mean that in order to secure a desired result Sarkisian will have to resort to the same kind of fraud: vote bribes and voter list manipulation.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the fact that all major Armenian political factions are now represented in the parliament will have important implications for the presidential race. The pro-government paper says the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will now opt for less radical methods of political struggle. “Significantly, for the first time ever the May 6 elections were not followed by a wave of post-election protests,” it notes, adding that the HAK will not boycott the new parliament despite Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling upholding the official election results.
One of the HAK deputies, Hrant Bagratian, tells “Aravot” that he and his colleagues boycotted the parliament’s inaugural session because the Constitutional Court had not yet announced the ruling and because they could not have seriously influenced the speaker’s election. “This is not to say that we will play a role in further votes, but they will involve debates, opportunities to speak up,” explains Bagratian.