“Aravot” says a clash between the Republican and Prosperous Armenia parties would be the only exciting episode of the upcoming parliamentary elections. The apparent rivalry between them is based on conflicting economic interests of various “government clans,” says the paper. “But the likelihood [of such a clash] is very small. Those clans will almost certainly prove prudent enough to divide up the parliament by agreeing not to compete against each other in majoritarian districts and to ‘justly’ distribute proportional representation seats.” The two parties will end up jointly controlling the National Assembly, according to “Aravot.”
“The Republicans and Prosperous Armenia fully control and utilize the entire TV air,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak,” accusing the two parties of having started their election campaigns in breach of the law. But the paper is convinced that their efforts will not have desired effects and are meant to justly large-scale vote rigging.
“Hayk” alleges that Karen Karapetian, the leader of the People’s Deputy parliamentary group and a senior member of the Republican Party (HHK), has already begun handing out vote bribes in several Armenian regions. “Of course, Mr. Karapetian is not personally going from house to house and giving cash. That is being done for him by the leaders of the HHK structures in those regions,” says the paper.
Political analyst Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian authorities must be especially interested in facing a “strong opposition.” “I think the authorities realize this,” he says. “But they probably think that Armenia needs not an opposition but a mock opposition.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says the three-and-a-half-year prison sentence given to its editor Arman Babajanian has been condemned by international press freedom groups. “Armenia too has had its condemned journalist,” says the paper.
“168 Zham” reports that the Indian firm Vedanta Resources is being forced by the Armenian government to sell Armenia’s largest gold mines operated by it. Citing unnamed sources, the paper claims that the government decided to give the mines to a Russian company after last week’s meeting of the Armenian and Russian presidents. It says Vedanta executives have advised their Armenian personnel to look for new jobs.