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“Zhamanak” analyzes possible implications of Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s latest remark that he would like to continue serving as prime minister next year. “Karen Karapetian was never known for his determination and straightforward answers,” writes the paper. “If he is now making clear his ambitions relating to 2018, one can presume that either a political decision has been made or that Karen Karapetian intends to seriously fight, with the help of Russian-Armenian billionaire Samvel Karapetian, for power in 2018. We are more inclined to believe in the former.” It suggests that the premier would have hardly made such a statement without having reason to be optimistic about his political future.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” speculates, meanwhile, that President Serzh Sarkisian “did everything” to sack Karapetian or force him to resign before the Armenia-Diaspora conference that began on Monday. “Sarkisian had serious reason to do so,” writes the paper. “As we all know, the Diaspora is not quite enthusiastic about Armenia’s current authorities and has reservations and grievances on many issues. In this situation, with his European image Karen Karapetian could become a real alternative for respected Diaspora figures.”

The paper claims that Karapetian has also received “serious support” from the West of late despite his strong connections with Russia’s government and business circles. It points to statements by Western diplomats hailing his reform agenda. Karapetian could therefore pose a “serious threat” to Sarkisian, concludes “Zhamanak.”

“Zhoghovurd” blasts government plans to step up the teaching of the Russian language in Armenian schools. A government document disclosed by the media last week stresses the importance for Armenians to speak “different foreign languages.” The paper says that the government is singling out only one of those languages. “This is an abnormal phenomenon,” it says, adding that the Armenian authorities are trying to promote Russian under pressure from Moscow.

“Hraparak” is unimpressed with the latest Diaspora-Armenia conference, saying that many of its participants are now less enthusiastic than they were during the previous gatherings held in Yerevan. This is why, the paper says, some Diaspora Armenians openly criticized the Armenian authorities this time around.

(Tigran Avetisian)

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