“Aravot” says that more than one month after President Serzh Sarkisian’s strong criticism of bribery in the administration of public procurements the Armenian government has not publicized any data on new tenders and their winners to show that the process is now transparent and fair. “As long as no such statement has been made we can presume that kickbacks continue to be paid,” comments the paper. It is also unhappy with the sale of the historic Foreign Ministry building in Yerevan and the government’s apparent readiness to approve more such deals in the future.
“168 Zham” quotes Education Minister Armen Ashotian, deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party (HHK), as saying that there are rival factions within Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “Such problems can also be detected through political analyses,” he says. In particular, Ashotian claims that former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian does not express Tsarukian’s views on key issues.
Another HHK deputy chairman, Galust Sahakian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that it is not yet known who will manage President Serzh Sarkisian’s presidential election campaign, even though parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian is “in charge of such issues today.” Sahakian declines to comment on whether Abrahamian will become campaign manager if Tsarukian, whose younger daughter is married to the speaker’s son, decides to nominate his candidacy for the presidential election.
“Zhamanak” continues to attack the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) for its desire to work together with the BHK in fighting against the government. The paper disputes the HAK argument that anyone “siding with the people” should be welcomed by the opposition. “The problem is that in this case the BHK is not joining the people … Instead, the popular movement or those who claim to represent the former movement are joining Prosperous Armenia and Robert Kocharian on behalf of that movement,” it says.
“Why is [HAK leader] Levon Ter-Petrosian not delivering public speeches and making new scholarly analyses?” asks “Hraparak.” “The need for that has long been felt. Following the roadmap drawn by the first president [Ter-Petrosian,] the BHK has already taken some steps towards regime change. That includes its participation in the parliamentary elections with a separate list [of candidates,] fierce fight against the HHK in the [recent] local elections, acquisition of a political prisoner-in-waiting [Oskanian] and so on. And today the BHK desperately needs new scholarly directives. But as we can see, Levon Ter-Petrosian is keeping silent.”