“Zhoghovurd” blames pre-election violence in Armenia on a new and complicated system of proportional representation introduced by President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party (HHK) for the April 2 parliamentary elections. The paper says the system is so flawed that it has led to clashes among activists working for various HHK candidates. “No matter how much Serzh Sarkisian tries to keep the situation under control through security agencies and judicial bodies loyal to him the façade of the building will crumble regardless,” it claims. “An explosion will occur somewhere because Pandora’s box has been opened.”
“Hraparak” also says that violent incidents are continuing despite warnings issued by Sarkisian and orders given by the chief of the Armenian police, Vladimir Gasparian, to police departments across the country. “As election day draws closer confrontations between election candidates are escalating,” writes the paper.
“At least on one issue the 2017 elections are taking place in an atmosphere of national accord,” editorializes “Zhamanak.” “We are talking about the inefficiency of HHK rule, which is acknowledged even by the HHK.” The paper says the ruling party maintains at the same time that no other political force can do a better job of governing Armenia.
“The Russian side is sparing no effort to dissociate itself from talk of [anti-Armenian] Russian-Azerbaijani deals,” a Russian political commentator, Stanislav Tarasov, tells “168 Zham,” commenting on the latest talks held in Moscow by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sarkisian. Tarasov says that this speculation has been spread by Azerbaijan’s government for quite some time. He also says that Russia and the two other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States and France, are working together to prevent another flare-up of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The pundit goes on to claim that Putin’s joint statement with Sarkisian, which emphasized the importance of adhering to the ceasefire regime, was a “sobering slap” in Baku’s face.