“Aravot” says the fact that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian National Congress (HAK) have not fielded presidential candidates does not mean “the end of the world” or “the greatest tragedy of the Armenian people.” “And it doesn’t mean that the political and social life in Armenia must come to a halt,” editorializes the paper. It is encouraged by the fact that some HAK figures such as Hrant Bagratian and Nikol Pashinian are now “acting as independent politicians” and are no longer seen as mere aides to HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian.
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to attack the BHK, the HAK and other opposition forces for boycotting the February 18 presidential election. “Of course, this is step is also aimed at disguising their impotence,” writes the paper. It says disapprovingly that the Armenian opposition also hopes that the boycott the will undermine the legitimacy of the poll.
“The severe situation [in Armenia] is a serious, very serious rival for any presidential candidate, whoever he is,” “Zhamanak” writes, commenting on suggestions that President Serzh Sarkisian is certain to win reelection. It says that Sarkisian is not quite in a beneficial position at present because problems facing Armenia have reached or will soon reach “a critical point.” “Maintaining that situation is becoming more and more difficult and even practically impossible … Even if Serzh Sarkisian declares himself president of Armenia with 100 percent of the vote that will not eliminate any of our problems and sooner or later he will have to face up to that situation,” concludes the paper.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says it is unrealistic to expect any positive change from the current Armenian authorities. “These authorities will not create jobs because all high-ranking officials, including Serzh Sarkisian, are businessmen in the first instance,” claims the paper. “And any businessman seeks to minimize the number of his employees and keep their wages as low as possible. Furthermore, these authorities will constantly raise taxes because the country’s population is shrinking and so is the number of taxpayers, whereas [government] expenditures are constantly rising … These authorities will not combat corruption because that is one of their main sources of income. They will not fight for the rule of law because in that case most of them will end up in jail.”