(Saturday, July 29)
“Hayots Ashkhar” expects U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza to provide an answer to the following question during his visit to the region: “What is the international community preparing to do in the face of Azerbaijan’s unhidden intention to create an imitation of negotiations and revise the content of the [Minsk Group’s] framework agreement in order to win time?”
“Aravot” quotes political expert Stepan Grigorian as saying that if Armenia and Azerbaijan are indeed in favor of the proposed peace deal, then they will inevitably be forced to sign up to it. “After that serious processes will begin,” he says.
“168 Zham” points to the fact that Bryza decided to visit Stepanakert as well, noting that international mediators had avoided trips to Karabakh of late, citing a lack of time. “Bryza seems to have decided to break the ice this time around,” comments the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” predicts that the “fiercest competition” in next year’s Armenian parliamentary elections will be between the ruling Republican Party (HHK) and “oligarch” Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia. “Relatively speaking, those elections will be fair in the government camp because at least as far these two parties are concerned, their administrative levers and vote rigging resources are equal,” explains the paper. It believes that the polls will boil down a showdown between Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian stemming from their “instincts of self-preservation, rather than deep differences between them.”
“I don’t support Gagik Tsarukian, but in my opinion Robert Kocharian is getting him in trouble, because if there is sudden regime change and Robert Kocharian loses control, Gagik Tsarukian will risk being punished by the self-reproducing regime,” parliament deputy Manuk Gasparian tells “Aravot.” Gasparian also says the HHK will “in no time” end up under Sarkisian’s total control. He says Armenia’s second most powerful figure has joined the HHK along with “semi-criminal elements that have no idea of politics.” They are the ones will now be calling the shots in the party, according to Gasparian.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says Tsarukian seems to be preparing to put up a serious fight against Sarkisian. “That stance may seem nice to onlookers, but in this case heroism is absolutely senseless,” the paper says, advising Tsarukian to opt for guerilla warfare.
“Aravot” reports that a nephew of parliament deputy Hakob Hakobian, who was arrested recently in connection with the high-profile shooting of a prominent young man in Yerevan, has been set free. The paper suggests that this happened because “Hakob Hakobian recently rejoined the party of power, the HHK.”
Prominent ex-dissident Paruyr Hayrikian tells “Azg” that his National Self-Determination Union will win between 15 and 30 percent of the vote if Russia miraculously “abandons and unmasks its network of secret agents and creates condition for democratic elections in Armenia.”