Citing unspecified “sources close to the president of Armenia,” “Azg” reports that Robert Kocharian intends to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections this summer. The paper says Kocharian sees a “parliamentary crisis” in the country manifesting itself through the continuing opposition boycott of National Assembly sessions and feels that last year’s parliamentary elections damaged Armenia’s international reputation because they were fraudulent. “In essence, during his presidency Kocharian will try to ensure at least one more or less fair election in Armenia, as a result of which it would be possible to transfer power to a worthy successor.”
Interviewed by “Aravot,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian says his Republican Party does not take a harder line on the opposition than its coalition partners do. Torosian also condemns some unnamed government factions for cozying up to the opposition.
A leader of the Dashnaktsutyun party, Armen Rustamian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that political stability in Armenia must not degenerate into stagnation. “We must by all means avoid a cemetery stability. That is, a stability generated by a lack of change,” Rustamian says. “Any country may face such danger if its stability does not foster the acceleration of solutions to the country’s pressing problems.” Dashnaktsutyun is therefore against holding on to power at any cost, he adds. “I am sure that the president shares our goals. The president simply has his tactics and, as we have seen in many cases, that tactics is justified.”
Turning to Serzh Sarkisian, Rustamian says “Dashnaktsutyun today has no problem with the defense minister and we believe that in terms of managing the [defense] field is the best candidate.”
According to “Iravunk,” Dashnaktsutyun’s rapport with Kocharian seems to have been more lukewarm of late and “in general disagreements inside the government camp continue.” The paper points to the intensifying clash between the Orinats Yerkir Party and the parliament’s People’s Deputy group over the allegations by the parliament’s Audit Chamber about the misuse of a World Bank loan to the Armenian judiciary. It also says a growing number of pro-Kocharian parties not represented in parliament are calling for pre-term parliamentary elections. “This suggests that Robert Kocharian may be increasingly inclined to dissolve the National Assembly and reinforce the government camp with figures more convenient for him.”
“Aravot” says that having failed to comply with the recommendations of last month’s PACE resolution on Armenia, Armenian leaders sought on Monday to convince a visiting rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly that the opposition is in the wrong. “So why do they say that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is not a Politburo for us? This stance shows that it is quite a Politburo. Such that our normally unsavory authorities become mamma’s boys when dealing with it.”