(Saturday, November 24)
“Hayots Ashkhar” reckons that that “weak competition” is the main deficiency of Armenia’s political scene because it makes the ruling elite complacent and disinterested in change. “We think that the model of a single dominant political party does not quite work anymore,” writes the pro-establishment paper. “While contributing to the consolidation of the political elite at a certain stage, it eventually corrupts that elite … Such a system reduces possibilities of sensible development.” But the paper also makes clear that it is against revolutionary ways of changing this system, which are advocated by some Armenian opposition groups. Radical opposition actions would only help the system “reproduce itself,” it concludes.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says there is nothing wrong with the fact that opposition forces did not discuss possible joint presidential candidates during their recent consultations as there are other ways of productively cooperating during the upcoming presidential election. The pro-opposition paper points to a joint anti-fraud structure that was set up by the Armenian National Congress (HAK), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) during this year’s parliamentary elections. “Many may counter that that structure proved as short-lived as a butterfly and that its achievements were not quite visible, and there will be an element of truth in that,” it says.
“Zhamanak” continues to denounce a possible electoral alliance between HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian, saying that the readiness of these two “former enemies” to strike far-reaching deals testifies to a lack of “ideas and principles” in the Armenian political arena. “Otherwise, no joint Ter-Petrosian-Tsarukian format would have been even discussed, even in the absence of Robert Kocharian from all that and, and, the more so, in his presence,” writes the paper.
Surik Khachatrian, the controversial governor of Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province, tells “168 Zham” that most BHK supporters in his region will vote for President Serzh Sarkisian even if Tsarukian decides to run for president. After all, he says, Sarkisian’s grandparents hailed from Syunik.
“Haykakan Zhamanak,” meanwhile, quotes Tsarukian’s mother Roza as saying that she does not want the BHK leader to be a presidential candidate.