“Zhamanak” says opposition parties’ declared efforts to agree on a joint presidential candidate have effectively paralyzed the Armenian society and political life in the country. The paper says the Armenian authorities must be very happy with that because they remain on course to realize their scenario for next February’s presidential election.
Aram Karapetian, a maverick opposition politician, tells “Hraparak” that he sees no possibility yet of an electoral alliance between his Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party and other small opposition groups not represented in Armenia’s parliament. Karapetian is skeptical about opposition forces widely regarded as President Serzh Sarkisian’s main rivals. “For example, I don’t know what those forces want to change in Armenia apart from, as some say, Serzh Sarkisian,” he says. “Will they fight against oligarchs? Will they eliminate [economic] monopolies?”
“Zhoghovurd” also scoffs at the behind-the-scene dealings among the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and other parties challenging the government. The paper complains that none of the opposition forces other than the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party is helping Stepan Safarian, a Zharangutyun candidate, to defeat Robert Sargsian, the government-backed son-in-law of Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian, in this Sunday’s parliamentary by-election in the city’s Avan district.
Robert Sargsian, meanwhile, denies Safarian’s allegations of foul play in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” “I can assure you that none of our actions during the entire electoral process violated any provision of the Electoral Code,” he says. In particular, Sargsian insists that contrary to Safarian’s the large number of his campaign offices set up in Avan does not violate the law. “Also, the [ruling] Republican Party has numerous offices in Avan, and it is natural that the party’s local branch is actively participating in my campaign,” he says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian is going out of his way to show that he is a “big friend” of Russia. “He is apparently worried that he could be sacked as a result of the internal political processes taking place in Armenia and is trying to do everything to have the Russians oppose that,” speculates the paper.