“Zhoghovurd” reports that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian stopped short of categorically denying on Wednesday corruption allegations made against his predecessor Tigran Sarkisian last year. “Besides, Hovik Abrahamian openly stated that his predecessor had shortcomings,” says the paper. “Obviously, he referred to professional, rather than personal, shortcomings.” It says that Abrahamian thus defied President Serzh Sarkisian’s public order not to attack members of the previous Armenian government.
“That Tigran Sarkisian had many shortcomings as prime minister is no secret to anyone. Those shortcomings clearly reflected on the socioeconomic situation in the country, and there is nothing extraordinary about Hovik Abrahamian’s evaluation,” continues “Zhoghovurd.” Nevertheless, it says, Tigran Sarkisian was not officially sacked for those failures or sanctioned in any other way. Moreover, he will soon be appointed to an ambassadorial position abroad.
“Hraparak” is unimpressed by most members of Abrahamian’s newly formed cabinet. The paper says that some of them had served as ministers under former President Robert Kocharian while others are “aging and obsolete cadres that have physically and morally exhausted themselves.” “Some of the newly appointed ministers are known as one of the most corrupt people in the country that have been embroiled in various murky affairs,” it says. “They will only cause a further deterioration of the atmosphere.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the replacement of the longtime Energy Minister Armen Movsisian by former Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian. The pro-opposition paper recalls that Zakharian was linked with a corruption scandal in the 1990s. “So regress is evident,” it says.
“168 Zham” says Armenian officials have implied all along that President Sarkisian’s abrupt decision to seek Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union resulted from strong Russian pressure, threats and even blackmail. As the union’s latest summit in Minsk showed, Belarus and Kazakhstan are now “doing everything” to thwart that membership. “It looks like the union’s most important member, is not particularly unhappy with that,” writes the paper.