(Saturday, June 9)
“168 Zham” says that Armenia’s leading political forces are now positioning themselves for a “big horse-trading” which it says will happen ahead of next year’s presidential election. In an editorial, the paper also says that former President Robert Kocharian cannot have the kind of impact on the political landscape that his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian did in 2007-2008 if he decides to contest the election, whether personally or through a candidate from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). It says Kocharian can only count on securing some formal presence in the government after the 2013 vote.
“Zhamanak” predicts that Ter-Petrosian will not run for president in 2013 because he is no “masochist.” The paper speculates that Ter-Petrosian’s chief objective now is to ensure his “dignified” exit from the political arena. “Ter-Petrosian has found himself stuck in between Serzh Sarkisian, Gagik Tsarukian and, by extension, Robert Kocharian,” editorializes the paper. “He is now trying to play with them … hoping that one of them will try to seek his services and use him as a tool in the intra-government struggle.”
“Yerkir” claims disapprovingly that a growing number of Armenian pundits are saying that opposition parties need to collaborate with foreign powers if they are to successfully challenge the government. “In any normal country people would simply laugh at this suggestion, whereas in Armenia that is somehow seen as making sense,” complains the paper.
Political analyst Tevan Poghosian tells “Aravot” that the latest ceasefire violations in the Karabakh conflict zone were part of Azerbaijan’s preparations for an eventual attempt to the solve the dispute by force. Poghosian says Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev torpedoed a peace agreement during the June 2011 meeting with Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian in Kazan, Russia and now needs to “prove his righteousness.” Poghosian is also confident that last week’s deadly skirmishes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border will not prompt the United States to push for new peace proposals more favorable to Azerbaijan.