“Zhamanak” says the launch of criminal proceedings against former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian heralds the onset of a “bitter confrontation” in the Armenian political arena. “It is evident that the authorities are exerting pressure on Vartan Oskanian and, most probably, Robert Kocharian, apparently seeing Kocharian as a serious rival of Serzh Sarkisian in the presidential election,” writes the paper. It speculates that Kocharian will not necessarily run for president himself and could nominate Oskanian’s candidacy instead.
“The Armenian law-enforcement bodies are devoid of self-irony,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial on the issue. “Otherwise, they would have had a slightly richer imagination. It turns out [according to them] that our former foreign ministers have a bad habit of money laundering. This may be a hobby or epidemic among them. But the fact is that as soon as both [former Foreign Minister] Alexander Arzumanian and Vartan Oskanian entered active politics, on the opposition side, they immediately turned on their washing machines to clean up the hard currency received from dark foreign forces.”
“Yerkir” dismisses Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s decision to discuss his new cabinet’s program with parliamentary parties. The paper says that Sarkisian’s reappointment as prime minister breached constitutional procedures because President Serzh Sarkisian did not formally consult with the parliament factions before signing a relevant decree. It also argues that the government rejected all key initiatives by the opposition minority in the previous National Assembly. “At that time, nobody thought about introducing a ‘culture of dialogue,’” it says. “On the one hand, the prime minister is attempting to legitimize his appointment and, on the other hand, spare the [ruling] HHK and himself full responsibility.”
“In my opinion, we are on the brink of exhausting possibilities of a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” Davit Shahnazarian, an opposition politician who held key posts in the Armenian government in the early 1990s, tells “Hraparak.” “The problem is that as a result of the policy implemented by Robert Kocharian and Vartan Oskanian the military-political balance between the conflicting parties has been seriously disrupted in Azerbaijan’s favor.” Shahnazarian claims at the same time that the resumption of the Karabakh war would be fraught with serious risks for Azerbaijan.