According to “Azg,” the emergence of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) means that it is impossible to satisfy the ambitions of all pro-government forces running for parliament. The paper says they are increasingly unhappy with being forced to make more and more room for the BHK. It says this might explain rumors that prosecutors are preparing to investigate an alleged plot to assassinate BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian. “With one and a half months to go before the elections, the situation is not quite clear-cut, and it is not known where the muted disaffections will lead to.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that President Robert Kocharian’s latest visit to France involved a stopover in the world-famous resort city of Nice which left the local Armenian community in shock. The paper says ten senior Armenian officials accompanying Kocharian are rumored to have spent a night in a local casino and lost a combined $1.4 million there. “Several representatives of the local Armenian community who have friends among casino shareholders, hoping that the rumors are false, began to investigate them.” But they were shocked to find, continues the paper, that the information is correct. Kocharian’s delegation included Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian, Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmaritian, and Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that a parliament deputy from the Orinats Yerkir Party who does not shy away from disagreeing with its leader Artur Baghdasarian stands no chance of being reelected to the National Assembly. The paper says Baghdasarian has made sure that Gagik Avetian’s name is only 32nd on the Orinats Yerkir list of election candidate.
“Hayots Ashkhar” contends that the elections will not have a serious impact on the economic situation in Armenia. “It is expected that the upcoming elections will be, so to speak, the most expensive of all recent electoral processes,” says the paper. “This means that a large amount of cash will flood the market, and it is possible that this fact will put the financial market under additional pressure which could rise in the coming weeks. But that will not necessarily speed up the dram’s depreciation.”