“Iravunk” anticipates serious infighting within the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) over who should get hold of parliament seats which the HHK expects to win in the May 12 elections. “It will not be possible to settle the matter even in the event of absolute intra-government solidarity,” editorializes the paper. “Because all government parties taken together can not accommodate all those who have been given promises.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s leading opposition parties were due to hold a “very important” meeting outside Yerevan on Tuesday that should ascertain their election-related plans. The paper says they will discuss the possibility of forming a new alliance and contesting the elections with a single list of candidates.
“Aravot” says members of election commissions affiliated with the Orinats Yerkir Party are being forced to step down. The paper says the latest resignation was tendered by Julietta Avetisian, the deputy chairman of a district commission in Martuni, eastern Armenia. Several other senior election officials representing Orinats Yerkir in other electoral districts had resigned earlier.
“Nobody can blame private TV companies for setting high prices [of political advertising,]” comments “168 Zham.” “It is their right.” But, says the paper, this does not apply to the Armenian Public Television and Radio which is funded by the state and taxpayers.
According to “Zhamanak Yerevan,” the Noyemberian constituency in northern Armenia will see an intriguing contest of “literature versus tobacco.” The paper reports that the chairman of the Armenian Writers’ Union, Levon Ananian, has said that he will run for parliament there and hope that local voters like reading books. Ananian will be challenged by tobacco tycoon Hrant Vartanian’s son Mikael. The latter is said to have been endorsed by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. The paper suggests scathingly that Vartanian is counting on the Noyemberian people’s cigarette addiction.
“Azg” claims that Armenia has the highest degree of social polarization in the former Soviet Union, citing a survey published by the Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital. “According to that survey, Estonia has the lowest rate of poverty [in the ex-USSR,] followed by Kazakhstan and Belarus,” reports the paper. Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia hold 10th, 11th and 12th places respectively, it says.