“Zhamanak” says that the May 14 municipal elections in Yerevan promise to be “more interesting that one would expect before the parliamentary elections.” “Only three political forces will participate in the mayoral election and only one of them will represent the government,” writes the paper. “This is a really extraordinary and unprecedented situation.” It points to the “unexpected” decisions of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) not to join the mayoral race.
“Right now it is hard to tell whether they thereby helped the [ruling] HHK or put it in a more difficult situation,” continues “Zhamanak.” “The BHK is not entering the fray this time around. That means this time there will be no buffer that has covered the authorities in Yerevan elections as well.” The paper says that Tsarukian may thus be showing his frustration with the HHK.
“Aravot” reports that several parliamentary election candidates that failed to win seats in the new National Assembly have decided to stop their supposedly benevolent activities that amounted to vote buying. The paper says that material assistance provided by them to rural communities and individual voters is not really benevolence.
“Hraparak” complains that Armenian politicians and media have not marked the 25th anniversary of a massacre of Armenian civilians in Maragha, a village in Nagorno-Karabakh captured by Azerbaijani forces in 1992. “Why have the human rights ombudsmen of Armenia and Artsakh, people considering themselves human rights activists, and politicians stayed silent?” the paper asks.
“Armenia’s sovereign debt has reached the $6 billion mark,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “The lion’s share of that debt, $4.3 billion, is the Armenian government’s foreign debt. It has to be noted that Armenia’s state debt has surpassed 50 percent of GDP, an indicator which is considered dangerous and heralds an imminent advent of default.”
Citing government data, “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the number of real estate transactions in Armenia dropped by over 23 percent year on year in January-February 2017. The paper says that despite this decrease, housing prices in the country remained largely unchanged in this period.