“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” goes as far as to call for a legal ban on election campaigns in Armenia. The paper says that campaign gatherings held by various parties are “humiliating” for the Armenian people and give the impression that they are devoid of dignity.
“There can be no free and fair elections in Armenia,” “Aravot” writes in an equally grim editorial. “In a country where most voters are poor solicitors awaiting alms from rulers and kissing the hands of feudal chieftains the concepts of parliament, president, political parties and political struggle can hardly be applied.”
“The parliamentary governance model seems to be already functioning in Armenia,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “For quite a while, it is Prime Minister Karen Karapetian who has been speaking of our country’s governance, development and other important matters. Serzh Sarkisian seems to have disappeared from the scene, giving the impression that he has already taken on the role of a largely ceremonial president in a parliamentary republic.” The paper points out that Karapetian is also conducting the ruling HHK’s parliamentary election campaign. Sarkisian, by contrast, has not held any campaign meetings or even commented on the parliamentary race yet, it says.
“Zhamanak” says that Sarkisian’s fresh visit to Moscow, which starts on Tuesday, will likely have important implications not only for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict but also “the issue of government in Armenia.” The paper claims that the president would like to become prime minister after serving out his second and final term in April 2018. “The key issue at Sarkisian’s meeting with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will be the question of what Moscow thinks of his ambition to remain the number one government figure in Armenia,” it speculates.
“Zhoghovurd” thinks, however, that the trip will be far more important in terms of its impact on the Karabakh conflict. The paper notes that Sarkisian has just paid an official visit to France, another co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group. Incidentally, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also travelled to Paris on Monday on an official visit. It says that such visits seem to have become a substitute for Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.