“Two and a half months before the parliamentary elections, the political field in Armenia is in serious turmoil,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Old and new political forces form incomprehensible alliances with each other and discuss ways of connecting these alliances, while more or less known figures receive offers from different forces.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” also says that the April 2 elections will be marked by an unusually large number of alliances. “This was expected and predicted for objective reasons,” says the paper. “Transition to the parliamentary system of government presupposes consolidation of political groups. But it is also not hard to note another specificity of the upcoming elections: the absence or … lack of new faces.”
“Zhoghovurd” quotes Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as saying that the HHK leadership has still not decided who will top the list of itselection candidates. The paper notes in this regard that the HHK’s parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian, said in December that the list will be headed by President Serzh Sarkisian. “Now, one month later, the situation within the party has changed,” it says.
Citing unnamed “well-informed sources,” the paper goes on to claim that Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian, Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian and Justice Minister Arpine Hovannisian will most probably get the top three spots on the HHK slate. It also alleges a “campaign against” Prime Minister Karen Karapetian launched by some HHK factions.
“Aravot” says that large amounts of public funds are wasted by the Armenian government on various counselling services that are supposed to be provided to farmers across the country. “Very few villages heed this state advice,” writes the paper. “Its benefits are therefore scant.” It says that in recent years the government has spent an average of around $1 million annually on that. “The money has been used for seminars, field training, promotional work, TV and radio programs, publication of newsletters and booklets.”