“The more the authorities talk about spreading democratic values in our country and being guided by them, the further away they move from them,” writes “Yerkir.” “This fact has once again been proven with the latest resignations and sackings. It turns out that our ‘Europeanized’ high-ranking officials consider serving their party and leader a greater virtue than adhering to constitutional principles.” The paper argues that parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian was instructed to step down by the executive branch and declared that he thereby proved his loyalty to the president. It says this directly contradicts the separation of legislative and executive authorities mandated by the Armenian constitution.
“Aravot” discusses two theories about the personnel changes in the government. One of those theories holds that President Serzh Sarkisian forestalled a “conspiracy” hatched by his predecessor Robert Kocharian. “This is an unfounded hypothesis,” editorializes the paper. “Not because the second president is not capable of conspiracy. Not only is he capable but also that it is the only through path which he came and may still theoretically come to power. But it’s simply illogical to presume that Hovik Abrahamian could be involved in such a plot. Besides, a suspicious and non-loyal person does not become the election campaign manager of a ruling party.”
Commentators have also speculated that the new police chief, Vladimir Gasparian, would crack down more harshly on opposition protests than his predecessor Alik Sargsian. “Repressions against the opposition are not conditioned by the personality of the police chief,” counters “Aravot.” “In the case of the police, everything depends on the person who gives them orders,” it says.
“If Serzh Sarkisian … doesn’t finish the job that he began, he will have serious problems,” Yuri Vartanian, a presidential adviser and former weightlifter, tells “Hraparak.” “That would also become a problem for Armenia and the Armenian people because Sarkisian is really committed to our country. The president must destroy those who stand in his way. By that I don’t mean chopping off their heads. They just shouldn’t remain in the president’s entourage and be able to obstruct.” Vartanian claims that there are still “an awful lot of people” paying a lip service to Sarkisian.
Hrant Bagratian, a prominent member of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “168 Zham” that the opposition alliance knew that its dialogue with Sarkisian would strengthen the latter. “Let him get stronger. After all, he represents Armenia,” says Bagratian. “And I must say that Serzh Sarkisian successfully used that strengthening in both Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations and negotiations with the outside world on domestic steps.”