(Saturday, August 11)
“Zhamanak” says that Gyumri Mayor Vartan Ghukasian’s decision not to run in the September 9 mayoral election makes its outcome a forgone conclusion. The paper says that Samvel Balasanian of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is now certain to become Gyumri’s next mayor. It says the only unanswered question now is whom Ghukasian will support in the race. “It is very interesting to see in whose favor Ghukasian will use his Gyumri resource,” it says. “And he does have resources: criminal, financial and even public ones.”
“It is certainly hard to claim that Ghukasian can prevent Samvel Balasanian from becoming mayor, especially considering the fact that the latter is backed by the [ruling] HHK,” adds “Zhamanak.” “However, we probably have a very delicate situation here, and it is far from clear what traps the HHK has prepared for the BHK in Gyumri and what role has been assigned to Vartan Ghukasian in that endeavor.”
“Hraparak” sees a shortage of qualified human resources in government, business and even mass media in Armenia. The paper says there seems to be no lack of political parties and politicians that have “simply made people sick and tired.” “But on closer inspection, our political field is very poor,” it says. “Who would deny that there is a lack of strong and courageous opposition with a clear orientation in our political landscape?” The paper says the “deserted” opposition field is “open to a new strong and united opposition.” “If they catch the right moment, accurately calculate the sequence of steps, do not deceive the society and avoid acting in both opposition and government roles, then a small group of new persons can today occupy that field and lead the protesting electorate,” it says.
Khosrov Harutiunian, a pro-government lawmaker, assures “Aravot” that Armenia is not faced with a dilemma over membership of the Eurasian Union sought by Russia. “Nobody knows yet what the Eurasian Union, about which Russia’s leaders have been talking, is all about,” he says. “Would it be a confederation or another structure? They hint, though, that it would be very similar to the Eurasian Union in terms of its political and economic contents. But there is still uncertainty on those issues.” Harutiunian stresses that integration with the European Union remains a priority for Armenia because “the main task of the Armenian people is to return to a historical cradle from where they had started out.”