Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Tigran Urikhanian, the spokesman for the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), expresses hope that this week’s extraordinary parliament session on electoral reform sought by the Armenian opposition will make a quorum. He is confident that the vast majority of BHK deputies who helped to force the debate will attend the session.
In an interview with “168 Zham,” Hovannes Sahakian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), reaffirms its rejection of the relevant legal amendments drafted by the opposition minority in the National Assembly. Sahakian says that the amendments, if adopted, would create a “chaotic situation” during the upcoming presidential election. With this “unserious” initiative, he says, the opposition is trying to offset its lack of constructive ideas that could be presented to voters.
“In my opinion, more than 90 percent of the population wants change,” Aram Sarkisian, the leader of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party tells “Zhamanak.” “There are people in the government who also want change, who can see that it’s impossible to carry on like this. And up to 60 percent [of Armenians] are ready to personally campaign for those changes.” Sadly, he says, political groups such as the BHK are in a position to win over many of those voters. In that context, Sarkisian accuses the authorities of turning the Armenian presidential race into a “money contest.” He goes on to predict that the BHK and its wealthy leader, Gagik Tsarukian, will eventually agree to back President Serzh Sarkisian for reelection.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says hardly a day goes by without a politician or pundit holding a news conference to blame “oligarchs” for Armenia’s ills ad call for a nationwide struggle against them. “This topic is clearly understandable to Serzh Sarkisian as well,” writes the pro-opposition paper. “It is not clear, though, how the republic’s number one oligarch is to fight against the other oligarchs. Nevertheless, they have decided to shroud pre-election developments with that idea. Assume that the Armenian authorities catch all oligarchs and immediately shoot them tomorrow. Will the country be better off as a result? Of course, it won’t be. And now imagine that all economic monopolies in Armenia disappear as early as tomorrow. The situation would undoubtedly immediately improve.” The root cause of the country’s troubles is not the oligarchs but the man who decides what they can do, concludes the paper.