(Saturday, April 12)
Writing before Hovik Abrahamian’s appointment as prime minister, “168 Zham” says that President Serzh Sarkisian and his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) are anxious not to upset the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The BHK insists, meanwhile, that joining the new government or demanding Sarkisian’s resignation is not on its agenda. “One is left to conclude that it’s not that there are no such issues on the agenda but that there is no such agenda at all,” claims the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” says Serzh Sarkisian had the image of a “gray cardinal” during former President Robert Kocharian’s rule and he has continued to heavily rely on behind-the-scene politicking during his own presidency. “With his single-handed decisions he has put his teammates in a ludicrous position on many occasions,” writes the paper. It recalls, in particular, Sarkisian’s abrupt decision last year to seek membership in the Russian-led Customs Union. The paper says that opposition leaders similarly impose their will on their political parties and do not like transparency. “As a result, we have a political scene where all processes unfold behind the scenes,” it says.
“Zhamanak” suggests that President Sarkisian postponed Abrahamian’s appointment, initially expected on Thursday, because of failing to secure BHK support for constitutional changes planned by him. The paper speculates that the BHK may have objected to clauses that would complicate Kocharian’s return to power.
“Aravot” reports that Sarkisian again commented ambiguously on his political future at an HHK office in Yerevan on Friday. He said that the HHK will continue its “decisive role” in Armenian politics after he completes his second presidential term in 2018. “We have a very good party office which is hardly inferior to the presidential palace,” the president added. “I’ll go to that office and work there.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenian tax authorities failed to ensure any increase in the government’s tax revenue in the first two months of this year. The paper notes that tax collection in the country was much better in the same period of 2013.