“Zhamanak” anticipates a “tough fight” within the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) for the status of “Serzh Sarkisian’s beloved son.” “There are at least three pivotal figures fighting for that,” claims the paper. “The chief of the president’s staff, Karen Karapetian, National Assembly speaker Hovik Abrahamian and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian.” It says they are essentially vying for the right to top the list of HHK candidates in the 2012 parliamentary elections that and thus be well placed to become Sarkisian’s future successor.
“Yerkir” describes as “extremely worrisome and dangerous” Monday’s court ruling ordering “Haykakan Zhamanak” pay three prominent businessmen $16,500 in damages for libel. “The ruling creates a precedent for holding any media outlet accountable for information attributed to other sources,” writes the paper. “That is, from now on, somebody could tell some media something about someone else and it is the publisher, rather than the real carrier and provider of the information, who could be punished for that … From now on, no media outlet can be free to collect and disseminate information.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” Tigran Khzmalian, a film director critical of the government, blames the Armenian opposition for the events of March 2008 in Yerevan. “The authorities were ready to flee,” he says, adding that the police and the army had no intention to “fight against the people.” Khzmalian, who is affiliated with the Sardarapat nationalist movement, believes that the main failing of opposition leaders was that “they didn’t show the society a clear alternative” to the ruling regime. “Regime change can not be a goal,” he says. “It’s a means. When we manage to change the social system and establish social justice, we will launch a new movement for a Republic of Armenia about which we dreamed in 1988.”
“Kapital” reports that Armenian electricity could be exported to Turkey through Georgia. “Gazprom specialists are already looking into possible markets, including the Turkish market, for electricity to be produced by the Fifth Block of the Hrazdan thermal-power plant,” says the business daily.