“Iravunk” says Serzh Sarkisian’s appointment as prime minister is “extremely beneficial” for President Robert Kocharian. “Serzh Sarkisian’s trump card is his being a shadowy gray cardinal,” explains the paper. “The spotlight is not for him. Neither is a civilian post. More precisely, that is not his normal state of mind. A Serzh Sarkisian chairing meetings of a government dealing with the economy and social issues is a different, non-powerful Serzh Sarkisian.” It says Kocharian will now step aside and place all responsibility for the political and economic developments in the country on Sarkisian.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that oligarch Gagik Tsarukian’s political significance for Kocharian and Sarkisian has decreased since the death of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. The paper says there was a danger that Tsarukian and Markarian could eventually join forces and take on the Sarkisian-Kocharian duo.
Hrant Markarian, a top leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that no single party will win a majority of seats in the next Armenian parliament. Markarian expects that another coalition government will be formed after the May 12 elections. “It is difficult to say what kind of a political picture will emerge, what conditions will arise, and which political partners Dashnaktsutyun might have after the elections,” he says, adding that Dashnaktsutyun would join only a government that makes decisions by consensus.
“Iskakan Iravunk” complains that voter lists posted on the website of the Central Election Commission are extremely confusing and messy, making it all but impossible to calculate the number of eligible voters and to see if there are dead people among them. The paper lays the blame on the Armenian police that are in charge of drawing up voter lists and submitting them to election bodies.
“Aravot” reports that Vahram Baghdasarian, a pro-government parliament deputy, has been issuing voters in his town of Vanadzor with coupons allowing them to visit local public baths free of charge. “That delicate and sweet-scented political technique is apparently influencing those who are unable to bathe at home,” comments the paper. As for Baghdasarian, it suggests tartly that he believes “only clean citizens can hold clean elections.”
“TV companies have long ceased to be media organs and have turned into components of the state administrative machine whose job is not to inform the public or to ensure the freedom to express the public’s views,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” The paper says this has been made possible by the scandalous closure of the A1+ television station five years ago.