Tigran Urikhanian, a spokesman for the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is asked by “Hayots Ashkhar” to explain why BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian has avoided contact with journalists and been frequently absent from Armenia for the past five months. “Your question is aimed at forcing me to give a certain answer,” he says. “So please rephrase it. The BHK leader is always in touch with the public and the media.” The paper counters that no journalist has been able to put questions to Tsarukian in person since May. Urikhanian replies that the BHK has answered all questions regarding its political activities through its senior members and press service.
Interviewed by “Zhamanak,” former parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan comments evasively on reports that President Serzh Sarkisian has instructed members of his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) not to respond to BHK criticism of the government in hopes of securing BHK support in next year’s presidential election. “The ruling political force is interested in seeing the elections take place in a calm atmosphere,” says Nikoyan. “It’s all the way around for other political forces. Statements expressing tension are met with a tolerant and gracious stance.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” claims that the Armenian society has no positive expectations former President Robert Kocharian because he did nothing for Armenia during his 1998-2008 rule. “In essence, Serzh Sarkisian is now continuing his job,” says the pro-opposition daily. “True, there is nothing to be given to foreigners anymore, but he can sell mines and get loans at the expense of future generations, which is what he is successfully doing.” This does not mean, the paper says, that there are no disagreements between the two men. It says Sarkisian and Kocharian are at loggerheads over “assets worth billions of dollars.”
Armen Martirosian, a deputy chairman of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Aravot” that its leader, Raffi Hovannisian, may indeed run for president. Martirosian also thinks that there might be a single opposition candidate in the February 2013 presidential election even if this seems highly unlikely at this juncture. “Zharangutyun has already decided one thing: it will no longer serve others,” he says. “We will be cooperating [with other forces] only on substantive issues because what has happened until now … has not been appreciated by our partners from the opposition field.”