(Saturday, November 17)
“Aravot” says that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will not hold no fresh rallies in Yerevan until its top leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, decides whether to stand as a candidate in next February’s presidential election. “And the first president will not make an announcement until Gagik Tsarukian states whether he will run for president or back another candidate,” the paper writes in an editorial. “The very fact that the HAK’s actions are completely conditioned by the [Tsarukian-led] BHK’s actions and that the first president’s further moves hinge on the BHK leader’s moves does not benefit, to say the least, the Congress and its leader. If you are an independent political force and have your own political goals … then you must offer others to join you, rather than offer your services to others and adapt yourself to their agenda.”
“‘Why is Levon Ter-Petrosian still silent?’ ask ordinary and not quite ordinary citizens,” writes “Hraparak.” The paper claims that Ter-Petrosian’s silence is “playing a destructive role in the opposition field” because it “hampers other potential [presidential] candidates who would have to do a huge amount of work in case of their nomination.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Mkrtich Minasian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as saying that the presidential race will not feature any candidates “absolutely unknown in the political field.” “In that sense, I do not expect surprise developments,” Minasian tells the paper.
Interviewed by “Zhamanak,” political analyst Armen Badalian claims that as much as 90 percent of voters in Armenia are ready take vote bribes. Therefore, he says, most Armenians do not care when the BHK will finally clarify its election-related intentions.
“Zhoghovurd” chides President Serzh Sarkisian and parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian for going on vacation just before the start of parliamentary debates on the Armenian government’s draft budget for next year. “While Serzh Sarkisian’s vacation is somehow understandable … Hovik Abrahamian’s unexpected holiday is a cause for bewilderment,” writes the paper.