“Hayots Ashkhar” carries an editorial on what it sees as a need to “renew Armenia’s elite.” “Many expected a cadre revolution after the 2003 elections, but it never happened,” writes the paper. “Will the presidential elections of 2008 mark a step towards a renewal of the political elite? And will that policy be pursued consistently and single-mindedly? It’s difficult to tell now. The quality of the elite will greatly determine the government’s ability to not only ensure the country’s modernization but political stability after the 2008 presidential elections.”
“Nobody doubts that [Robert] Kocharian left for Sochi to discuss the issue of Armenia’s future government with [Vladimir] Putin,” comments “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “It has become a tradition for governments in Armenia to be formed by and to rely on some superpowers and their leaders, rather than the public and the voters. More specifically, Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. Because Kocharian is completing his second tenure, he went to Sochi to talk about arrangements that could be put into practice after his resignation.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that the leader of the opposition National Unity Party, Albert Bazeyan, has stepped down because he disagrees with many party activists’ desire to nominate former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian as the party’s presidential candidate. The paper says those activists think that Harutiunian is the Kremlin’s preferred candidate for the job.
But according to “Iravunk,” Moscow has already made it clear that it will be supporting, at least in public, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian. “Needless to say that if Sarkisian becomes president, he will not appoint Kocharian as prime minister, given the existing parliamentary majority, because he will never agree to see a political figure of his caliber occupy such a post,” speculates the paper. “Kocharian, for his part, would hardly agree to become a prime minister nominated by the current National Assembly majority because it is Serzh Sarkisian’s majority. If Serzh Sarkisian wins the presidential elections, it is very likely that the current [ruling] coalition will cease to exist. For the current prime minister apparently agreed to form it in order to win time and to avoid spoiling relations with other government wings.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) is seriously worried about how to ensure his smooth victory in the election. “The HHK is well aware that that is not an easy task,” the paper says. It claims that HHK leaders are now busy warning various-level government officials that “if they don’t work for Serzh Sarkisian they will have serious problems in the future.”