“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the most important of the challenges facing Armenia now is the conduct of free and fair elections. “The other problems stem from the sad fact of an illegitimate government and, what is worse, the establishment of a tradition of illegitimate government,” editorializes the paper. “This is a challenge for every citizen of Armenia.” It says the country’s democratization would also translate into greater public spending and higher living standards because “oligopolistic” structures hampering economic betterment are thriving in the existing political order.
“Aravot” reports that Ruzan Khachatrian, a senior member of the opposition People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK), met in Stockholm on November 25 with Goran Linbladt, the Swedish chairman of the Political Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Khachatrian tells the paper that Linbladt said that Armenia is “far from being a democratic country” and that its government is acting with “Stalinist methods.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on the decision by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and a dozen other senior government officials to join President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper draws the following conclusion from the development, “In the Republic of Armenia, there is only one ruling party because we can not staff two ruling parties with [government] officials.”
“Hraparak” reports on a rift within the opposition Social Democratic Hnchakian Party. One of its leaders, Gurgen Yeghiazarian, is quoted as pouring scorn on another prominent party figure, Vahan Shirkhanian.
“Making forecasts has become fashionable in Armenia,” writes “Kapital.” “With only one month to go before the end of the year, journalists are continuing to dig for opinions of ministers and representatives of international structures to find out the full-year rate of economic growth. And so the latter give figures such as 15 percent decline, 14 percent decline and so on. Generally speaking, there are no serious calculations behind those estimates.”