“Hraparak” reports that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Gagik Tsarukian’s alliance have told the Central Election Commission that dozens of their candidates elected to the new parliament will cede their seats to other candidates nominated by them. “It turns out that a large group of people fought, spent a lot of money, and had several sleepless weeks only to give up their mandates gained at such a high price,” comments the paper. “In fact, it is clear that they neither worked hard to earn their parties votes, nor spent a lot of money or decided whether to take up their mandates … They found themselves in the ranks of the political elite by accident and can one day be left out of it and go back to whether they came from just as accidentally.”
“Zhamanak” says that more such withdrawals are possible before or even after the inaugural session of the new National Assembly slated for May 18. “In all likelihood, we are witnessing the first phase of a purge of [electoral] lists, so to speak,” writes the paper. “And it does not necessarily mean that the next phases of the purge will occur before May 18 … Over the next year, until the government’s next resignation in April 2018, the parliament will operate in a purge mode. As we know, Armenia will fully switch to a parliamentary system of government in April 2018. Serzh Sarkisian will resign from the post of president and it will continue to exist largely as a symbolic institution. Thus, the prime minister will become the country’s number one figure and a new government will be formed.”
“Zhoghovurd” comments on remarks by Ara Abrahamian, a Russian-Armenian businessman close to the Kremlin, that the business environment in Armenia is not favorable enough to investors. “Thus, Ara Abrahamian is openly blaming Serzh Sarkisian, whose tenure has consolidated a system which puts foreign investors, including ethnic Armenians, at a risk of losing their money,” says the paper. “And this is one of the few cases where Ara Abrahamian’s claims are not only understandable but also irrefutable.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” cites rumors that the government plans to cut funding for various cultural institutions for cost-cutting purposes. The paper hopes that this is not the case. Cultural heritage is vital for Armenia, it says.