“Zhamanak” says that President Serzh Sarkisian’s speech at a weekend gathering of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) amounted to an “order of political attack” issued ahead of street protests threatened by the opposition. “Serzh Sarkisian is urging members of the HHK board to put aside their personal issues and deal with their common cause,” writes the paper. “Sarkisian is thus hinting that … either all of them or none of them will survive.” It says he thereby warned them against secretly cooperating with the four parliamentary parties challenging the president.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that many in Armenia are convinced that Sarkisian wants to prolong his rule through planned amendments to the Armenian constitution. “But many also have trouble looking for internal meanings of his plot,” writes the paper. “For instance, they wonder how we will retain power if we switch to a parliamentary system of governance. He has already said that in that case he will not become prime minister or president. So how is he going to cling to power?” The paper suggests that Sarkisian could continue to pull the strings in his capacity as chairman of the ruling HHK. It gives the example of neighboring Georgia where billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili is believed to have preserved his decisive influence on the government after resigning as prime minister.
“Aravot” says that Sarkisian on Saturday also ordered HHK deputies to minimize their unjustified absences from parliament sessions. Those of them who are renowned for absenteeism “had to sit for one or two hours in the parliament auditorium” on Monday, reports the paper. “They then got so bored that they decided to leave the battlefield,” it says. Some of them spoke rudely to journalists that confronted them in the parliament lobby.