Speaking to “Zhamanak,” deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov downplays the latest spat between senior members of the Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties. In that regard, Sharmazanov stands by HHK arguments that BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian has not formally withdrawn his signature from a 2011 declaration in which he pledged support for President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection.
Mkrtich Minasian, another HHK deputy, tells “Hraparak” that he expects the BHK to finally clarify its election-related plans “within the next 15 days or so.” Minasian insists that the Republicans and Sarkisian in particular are not desperate to secure Tsarukian’s endorsement.
“Irates de facto” quotes Anush Sedrakian, a leader of the opposition Free Democrats party, as casting doubt on the BHK’s opposition credentials. “The public is disillusioned with the opposition,” she says. “The public has always associated the idea of opposition with a great emotional upswing. Whoever was in opposition -- be it Vazgen Manukian, Karen Demirchian, Stepan Demirchian, Artur Baghdasarian or Levon Ter-Petrosian -- had the people’s unconditional emotional support. The BHK definitely cannot generate an emotional upswing. True, the Armenian people are not quite politically educated but they are very stable at the emotional level. Perhaps the people vote for the BHK out of desperation.”
Political pundit Armen Badalian tells “Hayatsk” that Armenian factions are negotiating with foreign “geopolitical centers” over the upcoming presidential election because popular votes will make no difference. He claims, for example, that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will stand no chance of winning the election without such foreign support.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a human rights group based in the northern city of Vanadzor has demanded a new criminal investigation into the May 2012 explosion of thousands of gas balloons at an HHK campaign rally in Yerevan. Artur Sakunts, head of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly, is quoted as saying that the case cannot be deemed closed because “new circumstances” might emerge. Sakunts also says the case carries “risks of political corruption.”