“Zhamanak” claims that President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision not to attend this week’s summit of the Nonaligned Movement in Tehran will displease Russia more than Iran. The paper says the Iranian leadership realizes that the decision was motivated by Sarkisian’s desire not to have “problems with the West.” “By contrast, Moscow usually does not even try to understand situations in which Armenia does something for the West. We might soon witness Moscow’s reaction to this decision by Serzh Sarkisian,” it says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” rules out of the possibility of a single opposition candidate fielded in next year’s presidential election. “Presidential elections are substantially different from parliamentary elections,” writes the paper. “You cannot [in a presidential election] get 40 percent of the vote and score an absolute victory thanks to single-mandate constituencies. For Serzh Sarkisian, 40 percent of the vote would mean a second round of voting. And the second round would mean an almost certain defeat. In the last parliamentary elections, Serzh Sarkisian did not manage to garner more than 40 percent of the vote. On the other hand, there is no figure in the opposition camp who is absolutely acceptable to the 60 percent [of voters] sick and tired of Serzh Sarkisian.”
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Lyudmila Sargsian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), expresses hope that its top leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian, will contest the 2013 election and win the backing of other opposition forces. “But different political forces are trying to put forward names of different candidates, which gives me reason to presume that they do not share my opinion yet,” she says.
“Hraparak” quotes Aram Sarkisian, the leader of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party that left the HAK earlier this year, as insisting that former President Robert Kocharian is the real patron of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Sarkisian is worried that a BHK presidential candidate could gain a lot of popular support if the “real opposition” fails to agree on its own single candidate. “I hope that the pre-election period will see a consolidation within the opposition field and the broader public … and that a real alternative will be found because the conscious segment of the society understands that the BHK cannot be a real alternative to the [ruling] HHK,” he says.