“Zhamanak” quotes parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan as saying that the three parties represented in Armenia’s government will soon announce their decision to contest the May parliamentary elections separately. The paper says this follows weeks of speculation about the formation of an electoral bloc by the ruling coalition. It speculates that President Serzh Sarkisian provoked that speculation in order to clinch as many concessions as possible from Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).
“I don’t think that the next parliament will be very different from the existing one,” Suren Zolian, a political pundit close to the government, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Therefore, what matter in this case is not so much the parliament’s composition as what is going on around the parliament. In this regard, we need to discuss all possible developments without ruling out the most undesirable scenarios. After all, we have seen [before] that there can be more serious post-election clashes that deal a big blow to the country’s development.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Central Election Commission (CEC) plans to redraw the boundaries of Armenia’s 41 electoral districts ahead of the elections. Interviewed by the paper, CEC spokeswoman Hermine Harutiunian says she cannot give any details of the redistricting yet. Nor is it known yet, she says, when the CEC will meet to discuss the matter. The pro-opposition daily suggests that the purpose of the redistricting is to increase the ruling Republican Party’s chances of winning the parliamentary elections.
Andranik Kocharian, a prominent opposition figure, tells “Aravot” that relatives of people killed in Yerevan in March 2008 are right to criticize the official criminal investigation into the post-election unrest. He says their discontent will not go away until the investigators solve all the killings and punish those responsible for them. “I am convinced that the most important thing for the relatives is to see the murderers and those who gave them orders brought to justice, rather than to receive material compensation,” says Kocharian, adding that they believe this is not possible without “regime change.”