“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov as flatly denying renewed rumors that Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian will be sacked soon. He says Sarkisian continues to enjoy the ruling Republican Party’s backing.
Another senior HHK lawmaker, Hovannes Sahakian, skirts a “Haykakan Zhamanak” question about Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian’s possible participation in the February 2013 presidential election. He says only that Armenia is a free country where anyone can run for president and not face government “repressions” as a result. Asked whether this means the HHK does not need the BHK’s support anymore, Sahakian replies, “I would not like to make such a blunt statement because a lot will happen during and after nominations [of presidential candidacies.] We just want to say that we are ready to cooperate with any political force that will accept Serzh Sarkisian’s programs. At the same time we are saying that the HHK is capable of and confident about winning [the election.]”
“Zhoghovurd” says President Serzh Sarkisian is giving the false impression of successfully “maneuvering between the West and Russia.” “Serzh Sarkisian is increasingly entangled in his contradictory promises given to great powers,” speculates the paper. It claims that the Armenian government has not received fresh foreign loans of late because both Russia and the West are unhappy with Sarkisian.
“Aravot” reports on the latest armed incidents in Gyumri, the capital of Armenia’s northwestern Shirak province, which are widely linked with the upcoming municipal elections there. The Shirak governor, Ashot Gizirian, tells the paper that it is wrong to criticize the police and other law-enforcement bodies in the city for not averting such violence. “I don’t think that they knew in advance that there could be an incident somewhere,” says the former senior police official. “If they had known, they would have prevented it.”