(Saturday, July 29)
“Hayk” claims that President Robert Kocharian “does not want to be prime minister under Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency” after completing his final term in office early next year. “Naturally, he needs a weak, manageable president like Vartan Oskanian or David Harutiunian, in which case he would retain the role of ‘the only man’ he had reserved for himself,” says the paper. “Serzh Sarkisian’s aspirations are also natural. For ten years the guy has diligently served Kocharian, while, of course, having his share and patiently awaiting his day.”
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” one could tell that the main Armenian opposition parties will fail in the May parliamentary elections just by looking at the “sad” faces of delegates attending their pre-election conferences. Potential election winners, says the paper, are supposed to be in higher spirits. “Ideas, faith, energy and even fanaticism should burst like fountains,” it says. “And faces must be happy.”
For “Aravot,” Vazgen Manukian’s recent remark that “you can’t fight a regular army with a militia” was “perhaps the only sober evaluation” of Armenian politics made by an opposition politician in a decade. “The government is indeed an army made up of cynical, corrupt fighters that are capable of committing any crime to ensure their reproduction,” editorializes the paper. “Not admitting the bitter truth is also characteristic of most supporters of Armenia’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Yes, Robert Kocharian arouses extremely negative feelings among the people. But the masses have exactly the same, if not stronger, attitude towards Ter-Petrosian.”
“Golos Armenii” attacks another opposition leader, Raffi Hovannisian, for contesting a repeat parliamentary election while already having a parliament mandate. The paper calls the move a trickery, saying that Hovannisian supporters in the town of Talin and nearby villages will be voting not for him but a little-known individual from his Zharangutyun party’s electoral slate who is next in line for a parliament seat. “Interestingly, none of the parties, whose representative is running in the disrict No. 15, has condemned Hovannisian, who intends to commit fraud and make voters his accomplices,” it says.