"Haykakan Zhamanak" reports that new, "important" facts have come to light at the ongoing trial of Nairi Hunanian and other parliament gunmen. It emerged, in particular, that the gruesome video of the killings was edited by state television. "Very soon there will emerge new circumstances shedding light to the role of our power structures, particularly the interior and national security ministries, in the October 27 case. It now seems to be the interior ministry's turn." The paper wants the prosecutors to investigate several top police officers, saying that they might be involved in the attack.
"Aravot" and "Haykakan Zhamanak" carry a statement by two dozen non-governmental organizations urging former President Levon Ter-Petrosian to return to active politics. "We are confident that your participation in the forthcoming elections would enable citizens of the Republic of Armenia to make a real choice," the statement reads.
"Iravunk" comments that Ter-Petrosian's participation in the elections is beneficial for the authorities in that it would allow them to "intimidate voters with the image of the Ter-Petrosian bugbear." "On the other hand, Ter-Petrosian's nomination is objectively good for the opposition as well," the paper says. "Kocharian and Ter-Petrosian would mainly work in the same field, and Ter-Petrosian would steal some administrative and oligarchic resources from Kocharian. So Ter-Petrosian's nomination and participation in the elections would make things easier for the union of 16 because the likelihood of a run-off vote and Robert Kocharian's defeat would grow substantially."
"Golos Armenii" says that there will be three main presidential candidates: Kocharian, Ter-Petrosian or one of his top loyalists and a left-wing pro Russian candidate representing the 16-party alliance. "Today Kocharian's chances are just brilliant," the paper writes. "But one should keep in mind that all other candidates will be against him during the campaign, and that may prevent him from realizing his advantage." Kocharian's potentially strongest challenger is Stepan Demirchian. As for Ter-Petrosian and his HHSh, they stand no chance of winning the elections, according to "Golos Armenii."
Pollster Aharon Adibekian tells "Hayots Ashkhar" that between 30 and 40 percent of Armenians do not yet know whom support in the February elections. They are the ones who hold the key to the outcome of the elections, he says.
"Iravunk" says the authorities have practically succeeded in making it impossible for the closed A1+ channel to resume its broadcasts before the polls. The paper also blames them for the scandalous publication of sexually explicit photographs featuring the editor of a pro-opposition newspaper. Coupled with the controversial government bill on mass media, all this is part of a broader effort to control the media ahead of the elections.
"Orran" similarly accuses the authorities of launching a "war on journalists and journalism." "The dangerous thing is that they are fighting against journalism by means of journalism and journalists. The struggle against pro opposition media is becoming increasingly fierce, mean, subtle and subversive.'