“Iravunk” predicts serious changes in Armenia’s politics in the near future: “It is already clear that no matter who wins in the upcoming presidential election, he will have to adopt a clear-cut geopolitical orientation in two or three years’ time and carry out serious domestic reforms proceeding from that. The 15-year-long period of anarchy following the collapse of the Soviet Union is drawing to an end and specifications appear to be unavoidable. It is another thing that Armenia’s political system in general and the country’s ruling elites in particular are not ready for these changes.”
“Iskakan Iravunk’s” editor-in-chief emphasizes: “The pro-government propaganda is doing everything to convince the public that the opposition will never appear as a united team. Levon Ter-Petrosian’s associates also spare no effort for Armenia’s first president to be picked as the opposition’s single candidate.”
The paper also suggests that the authorities have again recruited pro-establishment sociologist Aharon Adibekian “to mislead the public” by trying to diminish the intellectual potential of the opposition and convince the people that the opposition still cannot come round after their crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections three months ago.”
“Azg” argues that it is the majority’s candidate who is primarily interested in the nomination of Levon Ter-Petrosian as a candidate in next year’s presidential election: “First, the discredited leader of the former ruling party is a convenient competitor to run against given the fact that he cannot expect to win at this moment and does not pose any particular threat. And secondly, he [Ter-Petrosian] can hinder the efforts of some opposition forces to unite around Vazgen Manukian. It remains to clarify whether this scenario was developed with or without Ter-Petrosian’s knowledge.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes that Yerevan’s city center prefect Gagik Beglarian and MP Ashot Aghababian with their bodyguards had a clash near the Hrazdan stadium on Thursday night. According to the information possessed by the paper, no firearms were used during the clash, but several people on both sides, including Ashot Aghababian himself, received bodily injuries and several cars were broken. The paper carries a comment from Aghababian’s nephew, MP Arman Sahakian, who denies the news about the fight, but confirms that a car accident happed near the stadium that night in which two cars belonging to the companies of Beglarian and Aghababian collided. People inside, he said, received minor injuries.
Meanwhile, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” cites its sources that tell about strained relations between MP Vartan Ayvazian and Melik Gasparian in recent days. “The thing is that Melik Gasparian is building a posh house for Vartan Ayvazian in the Vahakni district near Yerevan and recently Ayvazian’s inspection revealed that the columns of the mansion had been installed wrongly. Now both sides claim they are in the right.”
“Aravot” cites sources suggesting that a few days ago VivaCell was sold to Russia’s largest mobile phone operator, MTS, linked with Russia’s first lady. Despite the fact that VivaCell chief executive Ralph Yirikian several times denied this information, the paper’s sources give assurances that the deal was closed… “If this news is confirmed, it will turn out that Armenia’s telecommunications sector totally belongs to two Russian rival companies.”