“Azg” comments on Sunday’s parliamentary by-elections in two Armenian constituencies where two candidates are running unopposed. “Although the leader of the country’s ruling party spoke [at the weekend] about the need for forming a modern society, modernizing the party, democracy being the only alternative and having a new model for Armenia … a diametrically opposite process will occur this Sunday,” writes the paper. “This is a discrepancy between actions and words. That is, the messages of the country’s president will be ignored this Sunday. Nobody is rushing to put them into practice.”
“Everyone is scared these days,” editorializes “Aravot.” “From the street sweepers to the most thick-necked rich. And the latter are more scared than anybody else. When they speculate from time to time that one or another oligarch has turned on the president that is a nonsense. Why would they do that? Don’t they realize that destroying them is a matter of five minutes?” The paper views the oligarchs as “the most dependent” people in Armenia. It says they are well aware that “there is no law or court that would protect them” against government abuse.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” dismisses President Serzh Sarkisian’s speech at the weekend conference of his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), saying that for all his talk of greater tolerance of dissent and national consolidation he still considers “thick-necked opportunists” his sole power base. The pro-opposition paper also faults Sarkisian for saying no “bitter words” about Azerbaijan and Turkey. It says he criticizes Armenia’s main foes “only when he has to comment on Levon Ter-Petrosian and the popular [opposition] movement.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” sees an upsurge in prosecutions of allegedly corrupt government officials in the past two years. “True, it is mainly low and middle-ranking bureaucrats that have been caught for bribery until now. But they have been caught,” says the paper. It finds very important the fact that many of those officials worked in law-enforcement structures.
“If the international community suddenly stops giving loans to Armenia at this point, that will be a real tragedy for our country,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “This is a fact. And if we take into account the fact that Armenia has obtained more loans, on a per-capita basis, than any other CIS country this year but has registered the steepest economic decline, the meaning of that assertion becomes even more understandable.” The pro-opposition daily claims that foreign donors have disbursed some $1.5 billion in various loans to Yerevan this year to gain more leverage against the Sarkisian administration.