“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Armenia’s Central Election Commission was guided by political expediency, not the law, in registering presidential candidates on Wednesday. The paper says the CEC’s “sole legal decision” was to disqualify Raffi Hovannisian from the race and again calls into question Robert Kocharian’s electoral eligibility.
“Aravot” also accuses the CEC of using “double standards.” “If we are guided by moral norms and do not give a damn about the country’s constitution, then wasn’t Raffi Hovannisian’s non-registration immoral?” the paper asks. “Don’t we say that Armenia is the homeland of all Armenians scattered around the world?” The paper says it is also “immoral” to consider Nagorno-Karabakh part of Armenia when it comes to Kocharian’s registration as a presidential candidate.
“Orran” says the CEC’s decision to reject Hovannisian’s bid and register Kocharian was its “greatest breach of the constitution.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” anticipates that several of the registered candidates will withdraw from the campaign and endorse other opposition contenders. But there will not be a single opposition candidate, it says.
But in an interview with “Ayb-Fe,” Hanrapetutyun party leader Aram Sarkisian promises that the opposition will deliver a big “surprise” to the voters very soon. He claims that a “final decision” to contest the elections with a “united front” has already been made. He says the consolidation of opposition forces will also galvanize many voters.
“Aravot” editorializes that one of the features of Armenia’s current political situation is that the political elite and the media are isolated from ordinary people. “They are two different segments that live with two different laws and preoccupations.” The elite is now mainly concerned with the upcoming elections, thinking that political tensions are running high. “But in fact, the situation has escalated for only a few hundred persons who have fallen into the pre-election turmoil and think that the entire world shares their emotions. But the rest of the world notices neither that escalation nor the escalated people.”
“Orran” reports that a lawyer for the late Vazgen Sarkisian’s family, Oleg Yunoshev, will be questioned by military prosecutors over his allegations that state TV chief Tigran Naghdalian’s murder was linked to the 1999 parliament shootings. Yunoshev says he has been summoned to “provide some explanations and clarifications.” Yunoshev again claims that four unnamed law-enforcement officials who were familiar with circumstances of the shootings have since been murdered. He says they were the ones who secretly listened to the parliament gunmen’s conversations inside the National Assembly building.
According to “Aravot,” Yunoshev has refused to give any formal testimony to the investigators because he represents interests of one of the victims of the parliament attack.