(Saturday, February 11)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that some of the new Armenian electoral alliances have suffered rifts even before being officially created. “It’s hard to tell why those who spent months negotiating on alliances have ended up misunderstanding each other,” writes the paper. “The idea of party consolidation propagated after the  constitutional changes is proving to be baseless. Furthermore, Serzh Sarkisian welcomed the creation of alliances at the last meeting of the [governing] HHK’s council … Just days after his statement made on January 26, the alliances began falling apart. One now needs to understand whether that process is spontaneous or directed from a single center.”
“Small parties are especially discredited by this election period,” writes “Aravot.” “They have no chance of overcoming the 5 percent [vote] barrier on their own. They therefore need to find ‘daddies.’ But the daddies don’t really need them, [they may only need them] for creating the semblance of a broad-based social consolidation. The [Gagik] Tsarukian bloc, which has still not been formed, is a case in point.” The paper says that none of the small parties keen to join that bloc is in a position to earn Tsarukian a large number of extra votes. It says it therefore feels sorry for those parties.
“Hraparak” reports that one such small group, the Democratic Party of Armenia led by Aram G. Sargsian, has dropped out of an alliance which is being cobbled together by former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian. The paper claims that this development means the alliance is “falling apart” because its leaders cannon agree on the pecking order of their list of election candidates which would give each of them a good chance of holding a seat in the next National Assembly.