“Hayots Ashkhar” sees a serious rift emerging between the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian National Congress (HAK). The paper points to an agreement reached by the HAK and the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) over a new parliamentary inquiry into the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. HAK lawmakers on Monday accepted an HHK proposal to delay the formation of a relevant parliamentary commission, demanded by the HAK, until after the February 2013 presidential election.
One of those lawmakers, Gagik Jahangirian, defends this deal in an interview with “Hraparak.” Jahangarian says the HAK had no choice but to accept the delay because the ruling party has a majority in the National Assembly and is in a position to block any parliamentary inquiry. The HAK had to make some concessions in order to get the parliamentary majority to agree to a new probe of the March 2008 violence, he says.
“168 Zham” says both the opposition and the general public are now waiting for BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian’s announcement on the presidential election. The paper says Tsarukian’s emergence as the main opposition player is good for the authorities because unlike the opposition HAK, the BHK and its leader are unlikely to challenge them with street protests. It says this explains why there have been no major opposition rallies in Yerevan of late.
“Zhoghovurd” says a visit by a BHK parliamentary delegation to Brussels is weird given the fact that Tsarukian has not attended a single session of Armenia’s current parliament elected in May. Commenting on this, a spokeswoman for Tsarukian, Ivetta Tonoyan, says, “Gagik Tsarukian has always attached importance to the parliament’s role in our country’s political life. His non-participation in parliament sessions is conditioned by his constantly high workload.” The paper dismisses this explanation, saying that Tsarukian and his entourage travelled to Brussels for mainly “leisure purposes.”
Interviewing deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, “Irates de facto” wonders if recent developments mean that Armenia is “coming out of the sphere of Russia’s influence.” “I don’t agree with the wording of the question,” Sharmazanov replies. “We are pursuing policies of an independent country, have allied relations with the Russian Federation and are at the same time deepening our relations with the European Union.”