“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the National Security Service’s announcement that a U.S. citizen has been charged with plotting politically motivated assassinations in Armenia has not been “taken seriously” by many in Armenia. The paper points to -- and seems to agree with -- speculation that the authorities are simply trying to forestall any challenges to President Serzh Sarkisian at a delicate moment for his political future. “Political commentators are convinced that he is not going to quit power,” it says. “That means pouring fuel on the fire of public discontent, which is fraught with very different consequences.”
“Hraparak” says that the opposition Yelk alliance is now “looking for ways of cooperation” with Gagik Tsarukian’s alliance, even though Yelk leaders Nikol Pashinian and Aram Sargsian strongly criticized the tycoon when he was allied to former President Levon Ter-Petrosian just a few years ago. “For Aram Sargsian and Pashinian, Ter-Petrosian’s stance was extremely condemnable because they considered Tsarukian fake opposition and said [the ex-president’s] cooperation with Tsarukian is part of a government scenario,” writes the paper. “Today they themselves have made a bid for cooperation with Tsarukian, for now only on the election of [Armenia’s next] president.”
“Hraparak” also quotes Yelk’s Sargsian’s as saying that Ter-Petrosian’s alliance with Tsarukian and the election-related deal sought by Yelk are “totally different things.” “We have offered [such a deal] saying that we don’t need enough signatures [of parliament deputies] and that ‘if you don’t have a presidential candidate, then support us, but if you don’t want to, don’t support us,’” he tells the paper.