(Saturday, December 15)
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the 400,000-500,000 voters supporting the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) will be facing difficult choices in next year’s presidential election. “If the BHK had its own ideology and its electorate was the carrier of that ideology, the party would be relatively united in its positions and actions,” writes the paper. “But it is not a secret to anyone that the BHK is not an ideological party. That is why its electoral base is diverse and every stratum there had or has its expectations.”
“Zhamanak” asks Gurgen Arsenian, a businessman and BHK lawmaker, to explain whether he thinks BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian has sufficient intellect and skills to become president. “I haven’t seen an ideal president for Armenia yet, but he could have been a leader of the system capable of addressing problems facing Armenia,” replies Arsenian.
According to “Aravot,” after Tsarukian’s decision to drop out of the presidential race the spotlight is increasingly switching to the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and its leader Levon Ter-Petrosian, who has still not announced whether he will run in the election. The paper says that only Ter-Petrosian can personally set the record straight. It says every politician should “explain the logic behind their actions to the society.” “Assuming, of course, that they pin their hopes on citizens, rather than secret negotiations, intrigues or external signals,” it says.
“Hraparak” deplores statements by senior members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) to the effect that President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection is a forgone conclusion. The paper claims that opposition forces have become unusually “passive” in the face of such statements. “After all, the society has every reason not to elect the incumbent president: the severe socioeconomic situation, out-migration, unemployment, lack of improvement prospects, the deadlock in the Karabakh conflict, no progress on the opening of borders, rising gas prices and inflation,” it says.
“The noose around Serzh Sarkisian is tightening,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “As the presidential elections approach so does the time to fulfill promises. But Serzh Sarkisian is increasingly tangled in his promises given to the international community. He has still not managed to solve the dilemma between [integrating with] the European Union or the Eurasian Union. On the one hand, he cannot rebuff Vladimir Putin, who has offered Armenia to join the customs union. On the other hand, he cannot rebuff the Europeans, who see Armenia’s future in the framework of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.”