“168 Zham” claims that after his weekend meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian is considering not only abandoning his plans to run for president but also retiring from politics. The paper says BHK activists are coming under growing pressure from law-enforcement and tax authorities because of Tsarukian’s political ambitions. It recalls in this regard that Tsarukian told a BHK congress in February last year that he will resign if he feels that he “cannot perform duties of the party leader.”
“If Gagik Tsarukian carries on like this he will not have to announce his decision [on the presidential election,]” writes “Zhamanak.” “He may not decide at all whether or not to participate in the presidential elections.” Armenian law, it says, does not obligate him to make such an announcement.
“Consultations in the political scene are continuing,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “Everyone is consulting with everyone, and no matter how much they try to make nice characterizations of the process its essence remains the same. Everything boils down to who will back whom in the [presidential] elections. And the situation is weird in the sense that the main player, the society, has been left out of those consultations.”
“Hraparak” says that every major Armenian election held since the early 1990s has seen new methods of fraud. “In [the parliamentary elections of] 2012, all mechanisms [of fraud] were honed,” says the paper. “There were legions of election falsifiers, with each of them doing their job like car parts and the whole mechanism running very smoothly.” The paper expects to see in the coming weeks “what mechanisms our vote-falsifying authorities and their stooges will set in motion this time around.”