(Saturday, February 25)
“Aravot” claims that despite the abundance of political parties and blocs running for parliament, Armenians will have less of a choice in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The paper says that quite a few decent members of the outgoing National Assembly are not among election candidates because they none of those parties and blocs has agreed to nominate them.
“Zhoghovurd” reports on tensions among some candidates of the ruling Republican Party f Armenia (HHK) vying for votes in the same electoral districts. Supporters of two such candidates reportedly clashed in the town of Masis on Thursday. The paper says that President Serzh Sarkisian will meet with HHK candidates on Saturday to warn them against such conflicts.
“Zhamanak” Sarkisian says the Armenian elections and a new agreement with the European Union will dominate the agenda of Sarkisian’s February 27-28 visit to Brussels. The paper suggests that the date for the signing of that agreement depends on the EU’s reaction to his government’s handling of the April 2 elections.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the ruling HHK makes no secret of its intention to retain control of the National Assembly as a result of the elections. “Using its huge administrative resources, oligarchs, criminal elements and, of course, vote bribes, the HHK will again try to win a majority [in the parliament,]” writes the paper. “And it is quite likely to succeed in this endeavor. Yet the main function of a ruling force must be to steer the country to development, rather than to cling to power. This is something which the HHK has never managed to do.” The party’s track record is dismal, it says.