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(Saturday, September 10)

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to appoint Karen Karapetian as Armenia’s new prime minister has gone down well with “some sections of the society.” The paper wonders whether this has to do with Karapetian’s “personal charm,” his record as Yerevan mayor or other factors. It is unimpressed with his brief mayoral work, saying that the former mayor did nothing to sort out the “terrible” state of public transport in the Armenian capital.

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” speculates, meanwhile, that Russia may have had a hand in Karapetian’s appointment, “rewarding” him for his contribution to making Armenia even more dependent on Russia. The paper claims that the Gazprom gas monopoly will now have a direct influence on government policy in Armenia. It too says disapprovingly that some Armenians look forward to Karapetian’s premiership even though he is a “manager sent from abroad.”

“Oligarchs will hinder Karen Karapetian as well because he is not one of them and because he represents the Russian, not Armenian, oligarchy,” writes “Aravot.” “Having said that, one can pin some hopes on him, if he does not get fed up and walk away a few months later and say through spokespersons that his brilliant plans were obstructed.”

“One of the greatest misfortunes of our country is a lack of competent specialists ready to work hard in the government system,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “The reason for this is that high-level positions are occupied by people that are connected with the authorities in one way or another and government figures seek to give their golden offspring lucrative jobs. Until this mentality changes, as much as Serzh Sarkisian expects changes from the new government they will not materialize. Why? Because the incoming Prime Minister Karen Karapetian has the same mindset.” The paper says that Karapetian has extensive business interests in Armenia that are managed by his son Tigran. Some of them are connected with Armenia’s gas distribution network that was managed by Karapetian until 2011. Tigran Karapetian joined that network in 2012.

(Anush Mkrtchian)

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