“Hraparak” calls “unacceptable and ridiculous” the pool of candidates registered for the Armenian presidential election. “Such a situation that makes one ashamed of and disgusted with the most important state event and its participants has probably never existed before,” writes the paper. “And the people who decided to become famous at the expense of being ridiculous are not solely to blame for that.” It also lays the blame on “individuals and state institutions that for years consistently devaluated the post of Armenia’s president and the electoral system.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on declared efforts by Petros Makeyan and his Democratic Fatherland party, a dissident member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), to unite the opposition electorate around one of the opposition presidential candidates. The paper says that President Serzh Sarkisian could face a tough challenge if only one of Raffi Hovannisian, Hrant Bagratian and Paruyr Hayrikian stays in the race. “Evidently this is a science fiction scenario,” comments the paper. It says Makeyan admitted on Monday that he will support Bagratian if the three candidates reach no agreement on a single candidacy. It thinks that Bagratian will also be backed by other HAK factions.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” agrees with Makeyan’s idea, saying that there could be a “serious fight” in the presidential election in that case. “However, everyone understands that the likelihood of such a variant is close to zero,” writes the paper. “Paruyr Hayrikian almost considers himself the founder of the Armenian people and thinks that others are suckers compared with him. Raffi Hovannisian regards himself as the only and irreplaceable candidate of all Armenians, while Bagratian has every reason to claim that he is the only one among these candidates capable of managing the state system.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a group of Yerevan dentists demonstrated on Monday to protest against what they say is a sharp rise in taxes paid by their clinics. “Their services are already so expensive that a considerable part of the population, if not the majority, goes to dentists only in case of extreme necessity,” the paper says, criticizing the government measure.