“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes Prime Minister Andranik Markarian as saying that his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has not yet decided whom it will support in the 2008 presidential election. But he says the HHK will definitely have its “own presidential candidate.”
Manuk Gasparian, an outspoken parliament deputy, tells “Iravunk” that President Robert Kocharian will face a popular revolt if he signs a peace agreement with Azerbaijan that does not predetermine Karabakh’s status. “If he doesn’t sign, he will have to step down,” claims Gasparian. “So Armenia might very soon see a velvet revolution.”
“If Kocharian and Aliev miraculously reach agreement in Bucharest on the proposed [peace] variant, then that agreement must be welcomed,” editorializes “Aravot.” “There is no need to again list the benefits which we and, naturally, Azerbaijan will get in the event of a lasting peace established in this region.” The paper hopes that the Armenian authorities “will have the courage to go for mutual compromise.” But it goes on to claim that neither Kocharian and Aliev are intent on hammering out a peace accord.
“Iravunk” speculates that an unpopular Karabakh settlement could bring about fresh parliamentary or presidential elections in Armenia.
“Robert Kocharian will not sign any documents in Bucharest,” predicts “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “And in general, he will never sign. He just loves his post too much.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Tigran Torosian’s election as parliament speaker on Thursday was a mere formality. “It was clear to everyone that they are taking part in a process where nothing depends on them and where they decide nothing,” the paper says of the parliament deputies. Torosian’s reputed professionalism and encyclopedic knowledge of Armenia’s law, it says, played no role in the process whatsoever.
Pollster Aharon Adibekian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Orinats Yerkir Party can not expect to win many votes in next year’s election because the so-called “protest electorate” is evenly split between opposition leaders Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian. Those voters, according to Adibekian, make up only one third of the population. He says that at least half of the electorate is happy with life and will likely vote for pro-government parties.
“Ayb-Fe” says Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian is concerned with becoming president of the republic, rather than fighting for justice, democracy and rule of law.