(Saturday, January 28)
“Hraparak” comments on a bitter verbal exchange between President Serzh Sarkisian and former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian that followed the latter’s decision to quit the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper says Sarkisian implied late on Thursday that Abrahamian had far-reaching and unjustified political ambitions. It sees one good thing about the unprecedented spat between the two men: “The public can now see that there are real differences between the two sides.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” recalls that Abrahamian cited “geopolitical” factors when he commented on his resignation in early September. The paper says it is now obvious that he referred to Russia’s support for his successor, Karen Karapetian. Announcing his decision to leave the HHK last week, Abrahamian said he hopes that individuals replacing him in the party will be “at least just as patriotic and statesmanlike.” “It was expected that Abrahamian’s position in the HHK will be taken, both de facto and de jure, by Karen Karapetian,” writes the paper. “And this is what happened. Questioning the patriotism of a person holding the post of prime minister is a very serious thing indeed. Abrahamian yesterday branded Karapetian ‘industrial waste flowing from a factory’ which can pollute the main river and destroy settlements.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes an HHK deputy chairman, Armen Ashotian, as hitting back at Abrahamian. “One must stick to an acceptable mode of public life,” says Ashotian. “Especially when it comes to your former teammates and your current state leader. No position, no mandate can be a justification for forgetting the past and changing your stance.”
“Zhoghovurd” dismisses speculation that businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s return to politics was agreed with or engineered by the HHK. “Aggression against his team is already visible,” writes the paper. It says that the head of Yerevan’s Erebuni district whose father-in-law is Mher Sedrakian, a prominent HHK parliamentarian, was sacked on Thursday amid reports that Sedrakian’s son is set to join Tsarukian’s electoral alliance.