In a yearend commentary, “Hayots Ashkhar” says a dialogue between the government and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) was one of the most important political events of 2012. The pro-government paper says that the dialogue eventually failed because the HAK did not want or manage to overcome its political “complexes.”
Grigor Voskerchian, an HAK member, tells “Aravot” that the HAK could have come to power only if it had resorted to a political “adventure.” “Maybe it would not have succeeded and that would have been a pure adventure,” he says. “Nobody thought that there will be bloodshed [in 2008,]” continues Voskerchian. “Who knew that the authorities will shoot [at protesters?]”
“That the oligarchy has become one of the main hurdles to Armenia’s development seems to be beyond doubt,” “Zhamanak” writes in an editorial. “The question is whether Serzh Sarkisian has a sincere desire to get rid of the oligarchy or is trying to woo the public with the help of Tigran Sarkisian while continuing to walk hand in hand with the oligarchy.” The paper says that Sarkisian played an important role in the development of the oligarchic system during Robert Kocharian’s presidency and cannot blame the problem on his predecessor.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the course of the forthcoming parliamentary elections will depend on Sarkisian’s decisions and the Armenian public’s reaction to them. “Serzh Sarkisian has to decide whether he will indeed organize the best elections ever or carry on with the tradition of widespread vote falsifications,” writes the opposition daily. It says most ordinary Armenians have seen no positive change in their lives under Sarkisian and should act in 2012 accordingly.
“Aravot” reports that Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian has failed to make good on his promise to remove sidewalk shops from a major street in downtown Yerevan by the end of this year. “One apparent reason for that is that just like his predecessors the new mayor has concentrate on holiday decorations and the [city’s main] Christmas tree that has gained a serious importance in recent years,” says the paper.