“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s meeting on Tuesday with Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and other senior officials which focused on the socioeconomic situation in Armenia and government efforts to improve it. “Serzh Sarkisian has often spoken about the economy lately, trying, so to speak, to present himself as Armenia’s future prime minister so that we come to terms with that,” writes the paper. It says that Sarkisian has nothing to do with robust economic growth in Armenia registered last year and that it is Karapetian who can claim credit for that. It says that Sarkisian is now going out of his way to make people think that he too contributed to faster growth and deserves to become prime minister.
“Although Sarkisian seemingly expressed his satisfaction with economic indicators registered in 2017, he put Prime Minister Karen Karapetian in an awkward position,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “He hinted that despite the official figures Armenia’s citizens do not feel the effects of that growth on their skin. That is, he voiced his discontent with the government.”
“Zhamanak” quotes a leading member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Vahram Baghdasarian, as saying that if the HHK leadership decides to nominate Sarkisian for the post of prime minister in April the latter must obey that decision. The paper says such claims are now the “only face-saving solution” for Sarkisian, who promised in 2014 not to become prime minister after the end of his presidency. “The only option [for justifying his continued rule] is a decision, coercion by the HHK which Serzh Sarkisian will [ostensibly] obey as a rank-and-file party member,” it says.
According to “Hraparak,” one of the leaders of the opposition Yelk alliance, Edmon Marukian, denied on Tuesday serious disagreements within Yelk on how to fight against Sarkisian’s continued rule. The paper insists, however, that “there are differing opinions in Yelk on this issue.” “Nikol Pashinian stands for a tough street struggle, while Marukian favors an institutional, bloodless fight,” it says. “If there is no consensus and the differences deepen, Marukian’s Bright Armenia party may quit the alliance.” Marukian is quoted as dismissing such a scenario as a “gossip, though. “I can’t imagine Yelk without us,” he says.