(Saturday, March 9)
Lragir.am says opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is not so naïve as to think that President Serzh Sarkisian will join one of his rallies, concede defeat in the presidential election and step down. “Raffi just needs to talk,” writes the online publication. “Or else, his March 10 rally could be the last one in terms of the logic of his movements and degenerate into a ‘traditional’ opposition struggle.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the key question in the political arena now is who will be appointed as Armenia’s president after Sarkisian is sworn in for a second term. “At issue are not individuals,” writes the paper. “The thing is that each of the possible candidates [for the post] embodies a certain model of economic management. And depending on who the next prime minister will be, it can be predicted for certain in which direction Serzh Sarkisian intends to develop Armenia’s economy.” The pro-opposition daily sees four major candidates for the post: incumbent Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, former Yerevan Mayor Karen Karapetian, parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian and Armen Sarkisian, a London-based former prime minister.
“168 Zham” reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that starting from 2015 his government will drastically limit labor immigration from ex-Soviet states that are not part of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The paper says Armenia is one of the countries to be primarily affected by the measure. It says the Armenian government keeps dragging its feet over membership in the Customs Union and “the Russians appear to have grown sick and tired of persuading and decided to switch to concrete actions.” “In essence, Putin has pointed out a concrete mechanism for punishment that can be used against disobedient republics … We and the others have been given two years to make a choice,” it says.