“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev did his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian a huge favor when he said this week that Azerbaijan is the main reason for Armenia’s socioeconomic woes. “The Armenian authorities can now take a sigh of relief and say, ‘See, even our enemies are saying that we are not to blame for this situation,’” writes the pro-opposition paper. It says that it is the authorities that are responsible for the “dire state” of the Armenian economy.
Deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov tells “168 Zham” that Gyumri’s newly elected Mayor Samvel Balasanian remains aligned to the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) despite being backed by the ruling Republican Party (HHK) in Sunday’s mayoral election. “The BHK is not an alien party for us,” he says. “It’s not our enemy or rival. Samvel Balasanian was offered [to run for mayor] by President Serzh Sarkisian and nominated by the BHK’s governing body.”
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Naira Zohrabian, a senior BHK lawmaker, denies that one of her BHK colleagues, Elinar Vartanian, has said that the party will join the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) in protesting against the imprisonment of several young HAK activists. “She didn’t mean that we will participate in HAK actions,” says Zohrabian, adding that the BHK will always decry human rights abuses in Armenia.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” takes note of President Serzh Sarkisian’s remark that BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian and Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian are absent from Wednesday’s meeting of Armenia’s National Security Council because they left Yerevan “on assignment.” Sarkisian did not elaborate. “It is obvious that he especially wanted to explain Tsarukian’s absence because there was speculation after [Tsarukian’s] failure to attend the previous meeting of the National Security Council,” comments the paper. It says BHK spokesman Tigran Urikhanian refused on Wednesday to say where Tsarukian had gone and for what purpose. “It looks as though Serzh Sarkisian is better informed about Tsarukian’s whereabouts than anyone else,” the paper concludes with sarcasm.