“Zhoghovurd” is concerned about a senior government official’s admission that the Armenian authorities may fail to ensure live online broadcasts of voting and ballot counting during the upcoming parliamentary elections. The paper is unconvinced by financial problems which were cited on Wednesday by the official, Davit Harutiunian. “The saddest thing is that opposition forces have again been fooled into taking this bite or have consciously opted for a new agreement [with the government] which was doomed to fail right from the beginning,” it says.
“168 Zham” says that despite the large number and diversity of contenders the April 2 elections will be “colorless in terms of substance.” “The looming electoral alliances almost fully fit or will fit into the same line,” writes the paper. “We are talking, first and foremost, about their foreign policy orientation.” All major Armenian parties or blocs are at least as pro-Russian as the government, it says, adding that even the new Yelk alliance comprising two supposedly pro-Western parties is not openly calling for a radical re-orientation of Armenian foreign policy.
“We are still stuck in a triangle of the three [current and former] presidents,” laments “Hraparak.” “Although different political forces will be taking part in the 2017 elections, [political] processes continue to be guided by the three puppeteers.” The more skillful of these “puppeteers” will emerge victorious from the parliamentary race, it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees no large-scale investment projects on the horizon that could seriously stimulate economic activity in Armenia. The paper points to an official report on the Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s 100 days in office. The report noted a further sharp decrease in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Armenia observed in January-September 2016. It said that FDI inflows worth about $100 million in that period are “not sufficient for ensuring long-term economic growth.” “This is a very, very mild evaluation,” comments the paper. “In fact, it is a terribly bad indicator.”