“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian insisted at a meeting with the Armenian army top brass on Monday that the unresolved conflicts with Azerbaijan and Turkey are not the root cause of Armenia’s socioeconomic and political problems. Sarkisian said that domestic factors are behind “shortcomings in our country’s governance.” The paper says successive governments in Yerevan have until now blamed their economic failings on the Azerbaijani and Turkish blockades and used the Karabakh conflict to stifle anti-government protests. “It’s a pity that Serzh Sarkisian won’t say who is to blame for our governance flaws,” it adds.
“Zhamanak” reacts to Sarkisian’s warning that the Armenian military must stay away from partisan politics. The paper claims that he primarily referred to a new opposition alliance set up by formed Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian. “Of course, Seyran Ohanian no longer has any connection to the army,” it says. “But despite this fact, there may be people in the army top brass sympathizing with Ohanian’s political activities.”
“Zhoghovurd” cites a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) indicating that in the last five years Azerbaijan has officially acquired 20 times as many weapons as Armenia. The paper is especially critical of the fact that Russia, Armenia’s main ally, has been the number one source of weapons supplied to Azerbaijan.
“Aravot” claims that the vast majority of Armenians will vote for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) or Gagik Tsarukian’s bloc because they expect, first and foremost, “alms” from the April 2 elections. “Alms in the broad sense, not just in the form of vote bribes and material aid,” writes the paper. “Alms can take different forms, including manna coming from heaven. But there are also citizens who will be making an ideological choice [on April 2.]” But they are a minority, claims the paper.