“Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian began on Tuesday an official visit to Paris amid election campaigns unfolding in both France and Armenia. The paper notes a significant difference between those elections: whereas French President Francois Hollande has decided not to run for reelection, Sarkisian has given no indications that he will leave the political arena after his second term ends in April 2018. It also claims that France has a serious influence on the realization of Sarkisian’s political plans.
“Zhoghovurd” says that the Armenian police have failed to prosecute anyone in connection with the February 23 clash in the town of Masis between local supporters of two candidates of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Murad Muradian and Arayik Grigorian. The paper reports that the police have not even opened a criminal case on the violence incident. It says Grigorian has told his campaign manager Samvel Hakobian, who was beaten up by Muradian’s men, not to lodge formal complaints with the police. “It is expected that other pre-election incidents involving HHK members will meet the same fate,” it says. “And this is further proof that Serzh Sarkisian’s pledge to hold free, fair and transparent elections is null and void.”
“People all over the world love election campaigns,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Theatrical performances where characters are presented in the simplest way always have a huge influence on crowds.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Armenia is poised for an annual influx later this month of Iranian tourists celebrating Nowruz, the ancient Persian New Year. The paper says that hard currency brought and spent by them in the country usually strengthens the Armenian dram. “In the second half of March, the dram traditionally appreciates by 2-2.5 percent,” it says. “This has a positive impact on our economy.”