“Zhamanak” says the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) will not support a presidential candidate fielded by the Armenian National Congress (HAK) simply because it has a larger support base than the opposition bloc led by Levon Ter-Petrosian. “Whether or not the BHK buys that [support] with money, tractors or other material enticements is a different question,” says the paper. “Especially given the fact that with its silence maintained during the parliamentary elections the HAK legitimized those BHK purchases … In essence, the HAK has recognized the BHK’s superiority. So it’s not the HAK which is using the BHK for ousting Serzh Sarkisian but vice versa.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says President Sarkisian will easily win reelection if he wins the BHK’s support. But the paper points out that that support would come at quite a cost as the BHK would demand several key ministerial portfolios and perhaps even the post of prime minister in exchange for throwing its weight behind the incumbent.
“Irates de facto” quotes Gagik Minasian, a parliament deputy from his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as voicing bewilderment at the fact that the BHK, the HAK and other opposition contenders have still not announced whether they will field any candidates for the upcoming presidential election. He argues that presidential candidates and their political teams usually need many months to prepare for the election campaign. “Unfortunately, in our country the situation is worrisome, and this gives me reason to assert that there are very serious problems in the opposition camp,” says Minasian. “If [the opposition forces] carry on with this stance, then I think the number of their supporters will substantially shrink,” he claims.
“Aravot” comments on the Armenian government’s decision to revoke the appointment of a controversial figure as director of the endangered Khosrov Forest Reserve following an outcry from environment protection and other civic groups. The paper believes this development demonstrated that civil society can make a difference in Armenia. “Public trust in [civil society] representatives is much higher than in political organizations,” it says. “We tend to trust those who are not part of any clan, not involved in political games, have no desire to rule; those who set concrete and realistic goals for themselves. It is obvious that the authorities now reckon with the society more than they did five years ago. Perhaps this is so because the authorities have become a bit more prudent and adequate. [Online] social networks have also played an important role.”