“Haykakan Zhamanak” reacts scathingly to President Serzh Sarkisian’s and businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s first joint public appearance since their bitter dispute that led to Tsarukian’s resignation as leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and retirement from politics. The paper notes that Tsarukian wore a white T-shirt, trousers and shoes when the two men inaugurated his new entertainment complex in Yerevan this week.
“It is symbolic that Gagik Tsarukian wore a red T-shirt and pants on the Liberty Square podium [last fall] and has now put on a white T-shirt and trousers,” it says. “It’s not hard to guess that next time around Gagik Tsarukian will attend a joint parade with a white [Republican Party] flag or balloons if Serzh Sarkisian wants him to.”
“Aravot” quotes Republican Party (HHK) spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov as dismissing arguments that Sarkisian’s decision to stand alongside Tsarukian just a couple of months after branding the tycoon as “evil” is weird, to say the least. “If you are a good journalist, then I’m surprised with such a question asked by you,” Sharmazanov told the paper on Thursday. “The issue of politician Gagik Tsarukian is closed for us. What do you want from Gagik Tsarukian? The guy has retired from politics. Let him calmly go about his business.”
According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” Yevgeny Bibin, the Russian chief executive of the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility, aggressively defended his track record when he met with senior HHK figures in the Armenian parliament this week. In particular, the paper says, Bibin rejected growing criticism of his expensive house in Yerevan rented by the ENA. He argued that there are many similar villas nearby owned by senior Armenian officials.
“The problem is not the villa or its cost,” comments “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “These are just minor details. The problem is Bibin’s following message: ‘Why are you attacking me from all sides? I’m not an alien. I’m one of you. How come you are allowed [to live in expensive housing] but I am not?’”