“168 Zham” laments a lack of real “new names” among the candidates fielded by Armenian parties and blocs for the April 2 parliamentary elections. “The reason for that is not the absence of people but probably the fact that there will be no changes in the internal and foreign policies implemented in Armenia after the April elections,” writes the paper. The elections will not be as important as many think, it claims.
“Zhamanak” predicts that Armenia’s next parliament will have a “secret,” rather than, “stable,” majority. “We can see one of the specificities of the 2017 election campaign,” says the paper. “Apparently for the first time ever, the ruling system will have a clear dominance over the opposition. This means that even if the [ruling] HHK formally wins a stable majority [in parliament] or achieves one in a coalition with Dashnaktsutyun or any other force, the new parliament’s majority will still be dispersed among various factions.”
“Aravot” says individuals like Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian and Justice Minister Arpine Hovannisian topping the list of the HHK’s election candidates may not “generate negative emotions in the society” but they seem intent on retaining their government posts, rather than becoming parliament deputies. They are therefore likely to cede their parliament seats to other, more unsavory HHK figures. “Therefore, the lists should include only those who really aspire to holding parliament seats,” editorializes the paper.
“Hraparak” criticizes the “authoritarian method” of drawing up electoral lists adopted by not only the HHK but also many other Armenian factions. The paper is also unimpressed by a more democratic mechanism that has been applied by the opposition Yelk bloc.