(Saturday, June 6)
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” continues to comment on the impending increase in the electricity prices in Armenia, saying that the authorities not only do not care about the measure’s impact on Armenians but are actually disinterested in their welfare. The pro-opposition paper claims that higher living standards would make it much harder for them to cling to power as they would practically preclude massive vote buying. “The authorities need hungry citizens who would execute any order for fear of losing their 50,000-60,000-dram wages,” it says.
“Zhoghovurd” predicts the emergence of a “new government pyramid” in Armenia as a result of sweeping and controversial constitutional changes that are planned by President Serzh Sarkisian. “What makes the situation intriguing is that everybody [within the state apparatus] knows what is going to happen but they do not know how that is going to happen,” writes the paper. It says that this uncertainty is fuelling tension among many in the government.
Vadim Dubnov, a Russian political commentator and journalist, tells “Zhamanak” that some “corporate groups” in Russia are probably interested in former Armenian President Robert Kocharian’s return to power. “I think that any force seeking power in Armenia finds it necessary to look for support in Moscow,” he says. “They all have support, whether weak or strong. The current president [Serzh Sarkisian] enjoys stronger support. Robert Sedrakovich [Kocharian] too has his support base. But I don’t think that the clout of his [Russian] backers should be overestimated.”
“Moscow always supports incumbent authorities,” adds Dubnov. “It doesn’t like changes. Besides, Moscow realizes that if Serzh Sarkisian is replaced by, say, Robert Kocharian [Armenia] will follow a course beneficial to Moscow.”