(Saturday, November 3)
“Zhamanak” reports that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has formally tabled a bill on a new parliamentary inquiry on the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. The paper speculates that the opposition alliance is using the matter in its overtures to the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) widely linked with former President Robert Kocharian, whom many HAK supporters hold responsible for the 2008 bloodshed. It says President Serzh Sarkisian might also exploit the issue if the HAK and the BHK do join forces in the upcoming presidential election.
“Hraparak” comes up with a highly pessimistic scenario for the election, saying that it may well see a very low turnout and no serious challengers to Sarkisian. The paper says this is the result of a “destruction of Armenia’s electoral system.” “This also testifies to the fact that we are not a people inclined to fight,” it claims. “In case of any pressure or coercion we surrender and come to terms with the status of a slave.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reacts to Zharangutyun party leader Raffi Hovannisian’s announcement on Friday that he will run for president and fight for “a victory worthy of the people.” “Unfortunately, he did not explain how he will lead the civil struggle after failing to get along with an allied party (the Free Democrats) and to sort out big and small disagreements that caused [Zharangutyun’s and the Free Democrats’] five-member parliamentary faction to implode,” writes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” asks prominent Armenian politicians to reveal who they think will prevail in the U.S. presidential race. Hrant Bagratian, a senior HAK figure and parliament deputy, is quoted as saying that the election outcome is unpredictable and that he sees no differences between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. “I think the natural disaster that struck America gave more chances to the incumbent president because he started taking concrete actions and that is earning him new supporters that might have otherwise not bothered to vote for him,” says Vahan Hovannisian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun).