“The main prerequisite for any country’s security is its own power, and the technical power of our armed forces directly depends on [the state of] our economy,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “If the inept economic policy which is currently pursued in Armenia continues then the military balance gained thanks to the prowess and dedication of our soldiers will definitely be breached by the modernization of the enemy’s weaponry. An economy based on monopolists, oligarchs, wealthy and deeply corrupt senior government officials and their relatives sharing in their revenues can only be short-lived.”
“Judging from his first moves, the newly appointed head of the State Revenue Committee [Hovannes Hovsepian] has correctly understood Serzh Sarkisian’s instruction: the [tax] system must serve as a tool for finally strangling small and medium-sized businesses,” claims “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “The quicker and more effectively that tool functions, the better [for Sarkisian.]”
“Hraparak” dismisses as disingenuous assurances by senior representatives of Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) that they are committed to ending the country’s culture of electoral fraud through a new Electoral Code that will be adopted by the National Assembly later this spring. “One nearly starts thinking that during every election some unsavory, uncontrollable and criminal forces, which want to hurt our people, disrupt efforts made by our poor authorities, and discredit and shame them before the international community,” the paper says with sarcasm. “One starts realizing the authorities’ titanic efforts to prevent vote rigging which are nullified by those scoundrels.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s plans to set up a new opposition party are part of former President Robert Kocharian’s continuing attempts to return to the political arena. The pro-government paper says that Kocharian has no chance of becoming Armenia’s top opposition leader. “So what is he left to do? To form a new camp of former officials nostalgic about good old days,” it says, adding that unlike another former president, Levon Ter-Petrosian, Kocharian will fail to launch a broad-based opposition movement. “Not surprisingly, Kocharian is acting under the guise of somebody else,” concludes the paper.