“Zhamanak” says the question of the possible formation by the Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties of a new coalition government is important and relevant to these two political forces but not the public. The paper also says that a power-sharing deal between them would mark a “third retreat” by former President Robert Kocharian.
HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov, meanwhile, insists in a “Haykakan Zhamanak” interview that there is still no “final decision” on the HHK-BHK coalition. “If there is a coalition, it will be built around common programs and a leader of those programs -- a common presidential candidate -- and it will be Serzh Sarkisian,” he says. “Until the BHK official says something nothing will be clear.” According to Sharmazanov, the final decision will most likely be announced after the next meeting of the HHK’s governing board expected on Thursday or Friday.
“Yerkir” claims that senior HHK figures like Sharmazanov are too scared to frankly comment on the ongoing talks with the BHK without Serzh Sarkisian’s prior approval. “It is evident that even a party that has joined the European People’s Party cannot rid itself of a leader cult and loyalty and subservience shown towards on every appropriate and inappropriate occasion,” writes the paper.
Political commentator Levon Melik-Shahnazarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that President Sarkisian was right to boycott the NATO summit in Chicago. He says that organizations like NATO must have no role in international efforts to end the Karabakh conflict because “they are guided not by principles of international law but political considerations.” “Participating in such events would mean undermining our positions and compromising our dignity,” Melik-Shahnazarian says. Like official Yerevan, he points to NATO leaders’ support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, which was voiced in a declaration adopted at the summit.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” alleges that as many as 500,000 Armenians received vote bribes in the May 6 parliamentary elections. “That is, there was a crime in Armenia which was witnessed by at least 500,000 persons but cannot be proved,” writes the pro-opposition daily. “But is it really impossible to prove?” The paper says that a more than 3 percent rise in retail sales registered by Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS) in April is one clear proof of vote buying. “This is a very high figure because that monthly growth usually does not exceed 1 percent,” it says. “And that growth will be very high in May as well because a substantial part of the vote bribes were handed out one or two days before the elections or on election day.”