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Press Review


“Golos Armenii” complains that the unfolding presidential campaign in Armenia is dominated by “political fatigue” and a “total absence of new ideas and interesting debates.” This is giving rise to “behind-the-scene political intrigues.” “When there is basically nothing to discuss, they are trying to entertain the audience with tales about who is friends with and against whom,” the paper writes. It rejects as “nonsense” talk of growing differences inside the presidential camp and contends that it is the opposition which is gripped by a “real crisis.”

Looking at the consecutive pre-election conferences of leading opposition parties, “Aravot” comes to the conclusion that their pledge to agree on a single presidential candidate has turned out to be “fruitless talk.” Each of them is putting forward its own candidate, further lessening the likelihood of a multi-party agreement. The paper says it is obvious that no opposition leader stands a chance of beating Robert Kocharian on his own. Kocharian, it says, managed to keep at bay even a hugely popular politician like Karen Demirchian.

“Iravunk,” on the other hand, explores “probable rifts in the government camp” and former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s participation in the elections.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” discusses possible reasons why most opposition leaders signaled their readiness to endorse the presidential bid of Stepan Demirchian at the recent congress of his People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK). The paper believes that this was the result of “serious discussions” inside the 16-party opposition alliance. “It appears that Demirchian’s recognition has to do with the information, leaked by political circles close to Levon Ter-Petrosian the day before the congress, that the first president has decided to take part in the presidential elections. In fact, the 16-party format is directed more against Ter-Petrosian than Kocharian.” Preventing Ter-Petrosian’s political comeback is more important for it than ousting Kocharian, the paper claims, adding that the oppositionists have made it virtually impossible for the ex-president to build a broad-based anti-Kocharian coalition. By throwing their weight behind Demirchian, they seriously complicated the latter’s cooperation with Ter-Petrosian.

“Orran” is convinced that the only way Kocharian can win the polls is to fabricate extra votes in his support by between 400,000 and 600,000 “dead souls.” The paper urges the opposition to scuttle that scenario “by any means.” “It takes only a will. One should not pin hopes on the integrity of the falsifiers.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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