“Hraparak” says that the decisions by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, Transport and Communications Minister Vahan Martirosian and Agriculture Minister Ignati Arakelian to join the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) were “not sincere or spontaneous.” “It’s clear to everyone that they were forced to file [HHK membership] applications, no matter how much the two ministers attribute them to the need for [government] teamwork and claim that the HHK’s ideology is dear to their hearts,” writes the paper. “The discredited HHK needs to burnish its tarnished image with non-discredited individuals by using the positive image of these people. Elections are coming up, there is a lot of social tension in the country, and public discontent is directed at the ruling party which has failed to fulfill any of its election campaign promises.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” believes that it is President Serzh Sarkisian who told Karapetian, Martirosian and Arakelian to become HHK members as part of his plans to solidify one-party rule in Armenia. “This is how Serzh Sarkisian, as a former Communist Party functionary, sees the government system,” writes the pro-opposition daily. It says Sarkisian is keen to make Armenians believe that “the state and the HHK are the same thing.”
“The HHK is a structure that has united individuals acting against Armenia’s state and public interests and having enriched themselves at the expense of those interests and public resources,” alleges “Zhamanak.” The paper says that for all his reform talk Prime Minister Karapetian is part of this “circle.” “If he believed in his own reform slogans and mottos … then there would be no alternative to taking the HHK to court,” it claims.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” a former senior Nagorno-Karabakh official, Arman Melikian, voices concern at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to classify any information about Russia’s arms deals with foreign states. “We must be particularly attentive to the segment of Russian-Azerbaijani military cooperation that envisages joint manufacturing of weapons and other military products in Azerbaijan because we might get very unpleasant surprises there,” says Melikian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals that the round-trip air ticket for Finance Minister Vartan Aramian’s recent visit to New York cost the Armenian state budget over $5,500. “The ticket was so expensive because the minister flew business class,” explains the paper. “Only members of the National Security Council are supposed to have such a privileged status.”