In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) spokesman Tigran Urikhanian insists that the BHK is sticking to its decision not to support any presidential candidate, including President Serzh Sarkisian. “We make decisions once, after weighing up things thoroughly,” says Urikhanian. BHK figures endorsing Sarkisian express only their personal opinion, he says. “Nobody is authorized to direct BHK voters or present the common position of party structures,” concludes Urikhanian.
“168 Zham” quotes Ara Sahakian, who served as deputy parliament speaker during Levon Ter-Petrosian’s presidency, as making critical remarks about the ex-president’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). “If a political structure is built around a single individual it disappears with his retirement [from politics,]” Sahakian says, commenting on the future of the opposition alliance. “I don’t see a reason why the HAK can be an exception.”
Lyudmila Sargsian, a senior HAK member, assures “Hraparak” that Ter-Petrosian has not retired from active politics and that his alliance can still mount a serious challenge to the government. “Remember 2007 when nobody thought that Levon Ter-Petrosian will return to politics and be able to mobilize such protests and win the backing of so many people,” she says. “So nothing is impossible, especially given that the situation now is much more severe. The social situation, the lack of justice in the country.”
“Zhamanak” comments on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s announcement that President Vladimir Putin has instructed his government to step up “integration trends” in the former Soviet Union. The paper says that unlike Hillary Clinton, the incoming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is unlikely to criticize the Russian policy in public. But he should counter it with concrete steps, it says, adding that Washington will try to form a pro-Western “political pole” in Armenia.
“Aravot” says that the alleged obstruction of the French retail giant Carrefour’s plans to open a supermarket in Armenia could seriously damage the country’s international reputation. The paper claims that local oligarchs are behind that obstruction. It says this could result in a worsening of Armenia’s position in international surveys on the business climate around the world.