“Zhamanak” suggests that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) member Vartan Oskanian’s statement on his readiness to stand for president unless BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian wants to run for the top post himself reveals the extent of internal differences within the party, which, the paper argues, is crucial not only in the context of the coming election, but also generally to the party’s political future. “By speaking publically about the matter Oskanian appears to be trying to make Tsarukian face the reality. There seems to be Oskanian’s and, therefore, [former president] Robert Kocharian’s concern that Tsarukian might suddenly decide to back [president] Serzh Sarkisian.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” European Integration NGO head Karen Bekarian speaks about possible confusion in the platforms and programs of some of the likely presidential candidates and their forces in the upcoming presidential race, which, he says, the public should take in its stride, considering the “perverted” pre-election logic. “We already see that the party that yesterday struggled for Armenia’s joining NATO today states that it will be the number one partner for Russia. So, one really shouldn’t take political shows seriously,” says the expert.
“Hraparak” reacts to the remarks made by Russian Ambassador to Armenia Vyacheslav Kovalenko who defended his government’s immigration program in Armenia at a press conference in Yerevan on Tuesday. In this context, the paper’s editor slams the government of Armenia for tolerating “foreign agents” encouraging Armenians to leave their country and bragging about it. “In no other country ambassadors would feel so impudent that they could even meddle in this country’s domestic affairs, give evaluations, voice criticism and opposition. This could simply lead to a diplomatic scandal, but since the Russians regard us as their vassals and Armenia as their ‘outpost’, it is only natural that this should be so.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports that Armenia will have to pay an estimated $420 million in 2013 to cover its external debt, which, the paper says, is even higher than the nation’s annual military spending. “Why is our external debt so huge? It is because in 2009-2010 [president] Serzh Sarkisian was in a terrible panic and ordered the prime minister to find loans from all possible sources, even on the heaviest conditions. And [Prime Minister] Tigran Sarkisian was going “from door to door” asking for money without thinking about the consequences. Now it’s time to pay for that.”