“Zhamanak” says the opposition boycott of Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian’s inauguration is meaningless because opposition parties already legitimized the “disgraceful” official results of last month’s municipal elections by participating in them. “This stance illustrates the mockery to which the society is being subjected by political forces,” writes the paper.
“168 Zham” believes that former Syunik Governor Suren Khachatrian will retain strong influence in the Armenian region after his sacking. The paper argues that the current, acting governor, Ara Dolunts, is a Khachatrian loyalist. “Syunik residents claim that Dolunts is Suren Khachatrian’s stooge and cannot be independent from the latter,” it says. “Those familiar with Syunik and its atmosphere are convinced that if the authorities really wanted to put an end to Suren Khachatrian’s rule they would have appointed a person who is not dependent on Khachatrian and could act as an independent figure.”
“Why is it not possible to replace Suren Khachatrian?” continues “168 Zham.” “Only because he has rigged elections for the authorities? … The issue is much more complicated. During his 20-year activities Suren Khachatrian concentrated the most lucrative business sectors in [the provincial town of] Goris and surrounding areas in his hands. Those assets have helped to shape his clout in Syunik. On June 6, Suren Khachatrian gave up his post but not assets, meaning that he has retained his real influence.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Artur Javadian, the governor of the Armenian Central Bank, as saying that the latest increases in energy prices will push up inflation in Armenia by 2 percentage points. The paper anticipates a sharper rise in the consumer price index. “But even if Javadian’s conservative forecasts materialize that will still be a very high figure,” it says, arguing that year-on-year inflation in the country stood at 5.2 percent in May, according to official statistics.