“Aravot” discusses the latest bitter exchange between the governing HHK and Orinats Yerkir parties. “One component of the ruling coalition, Orinats Yerkir, was accusing another component, the Republicans, of gobbling, plundering or at best misusing state property in 2001-2003,” writes the paper. “A question arises [in that regard]. Why were you joining the coalition with those who gobble, plunder, misuse things in the first place?” The HHK’s behavior is even “more weird” to the paper. “Common sense suggests that in response to serious allegations made by Orinats Yerkir, they should have countered that they did not gobble, plunder and misuse.” Instead of defending themselves, the Republicans told Orinats Yerkir to hush up HHK corruption or face similar allegations about its own leaders’ questionable behavior.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that only 7 out of the 22 Orinats Yerkir parliamentarians joined their leader Artur Baghdasarian in voting against the government report on the 2001-2003 privatization. The paper says that Baghdasarian and his loyalists have thus degenerated into a parliament minority. HHK leaders present the apparent Orinats Yerkir split as their first serious riposte to Baghdasarian. The next, more serious blow could be a mass defection of wealthy deputies affiliated with Orinats Yerkir.
“Azg” also points out that most Orinats Yerkir deputies for the first time refused to obey their leader.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the heated parliament debates were the opening salvos in the unfolding campaign for next year’s parliamentary elections. “As the elections approach, there are greater uncertainties and unhidden nervousness connected to them,” says the paper.
Citing a unnamed HHK sources, “Iravunk” reports that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian has complained about Armenia’s latest energy deal with Russia in private conversations with a “very narrow circle” of friends. “We were proposing a totally different variant,” Markarian is said to have told them, adding that Robert Kocharian rejected it in a “very rude” manner.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” condemns the Armenian opposition for its failure to mount a high-profile PR campaign against “that disgraceful deal.” But the paper says a good thing about this fact is that “it exposed the real political picture of Armenia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the deal is part of efforts to prepare for the closure of the Metsamor nuclear plant.
“Every falsified election will come at the expense of our waning independence,” Grigor Harutiunian of the opposition Artarutyun bloc tells “Iravunk.” He alleges that Armenia’s rulers are selling that independence for the sake of their power.
But as Dashnaktsutyun leader Levon Mkrtchian assures “Iravunk,” the Russian-Armenian gas deal “stemmed from reality.” He says Russia has a legitimate right to set a “market price” for its gas and Armenians should therefore brace themselves for its further increases in the future.