“Hraparak” looks at a lack of opposition interest in Armenia’s upcoming local elections. The paper points out that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Zharangutyun (Heritage) party have fielded virtually no mayoral candidates and will only vie for seats on local councils. “The opposition is not inclined to see a political struggle in these elections and, when pressed on the issue, the leaders of opposition parties give evasive answers to the effect that ‘our regional structures found that expedient,” it says. “Why did they make such decisions? Why did they not try to counter local government chieftains with anything? Nobody knows. [Party leaders] would love to spend days talking about civil society. But when it comes to doing something about that, they all evaporate.”
“Aravot” wonders if last year’s dialogue between the HAK and the government would have continued and yielded results had several young activists of the opposition bloc not been arrested on controversial charges. “For the HAK, pre-term parliamentary and presidential elections would have been a success, while the authorities were interested in maintaining the status quo,” editorializes the paper. “The latter scenario materialized.” The paper says the dialogue was never going to end in success because both sides were not sincere during their brief talks in the summer of 2011. The dialogue would have therefore collapsed even without the controversial arrests, it concludes.
“Zhamanak” discusses prospects for the development of sports in Armenia after the Olympic Games in London. “It is evident that sports in Armenia either are either stagnating or regressing,” claims the paper. “It’s not about winning or not winning [Olympic] medals. The problem is that we no longer have any sporting system that would ensure stable competitions for our athletes. [The existence of] one or two [successful] athletes does not mean a sporting system. A system is something that develops the kind of cadres that always keep a country among top contenders in a particular sport.”