“These elections may have two outcomes. Either Robert Kocharian or I will win,” opposition candidate Vazgen Manukian tells “Golos Armenii.” Manukian says the authorities churn out bogus opinion poll results to portray other opposition leaders (presumably Stepan Demirchian and Artashes Geghamian) as Kocharian’s main challengers.
Another opposition contender, Aram Sarkisian of the Hanrapetutyun party, tells “Orran” that his main challenge is to prevent the authorities from stuffing ballot boxes with thousands of non-existent votes. “The second danger, is voting by absent people,” he says. “I assure that the popular vote will not be falsified. It will hit the target.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Dashnaktsutyun leader Armen Rustamian as saying that the opposition candidates have little to say except personal attacks on Robert Kocharian. This tactics does not earn them any additional votes, according to Rustamian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” runs fresh polling data from the Center for Election Techniques. Its latest survey in Yerevan again puts Kocharian in the first place with a nearly 24 percent approval rating. Demirchian trails him with 11.8 percent, while Geghamian comes in third with just over 10 percent. The center’s previous poll gave Kocharian more than 26 percent of the likely vote.
Another poll published by “Aravot” gives Kocharian 27.8 percent, with Demirchian having more than 9 percent and Geghamian slightly less.
According to another survey cited by the pro-presidential “Hayots Ashkhar,” Kocharian would win as much as 57 percent of the vote if the elections were held this week.
“Orran” comments that the Kocharian campaign wants to instill in Armenians the belief that the outcome of the elections is already predetermined. This is the main message the pro-Kocharian media are trying to get across. In a separate analysis, the paper notes that the key challenges facing Armenia -- the Karabakh conflict, unemployment, poverty, emigration and illegitimate government -- have not changed since the previous elections.
“Azg” reports that Geghamian has announced that he will “boycott” the pro-Kocharian state television and will “stop cooperating” with its news service. Geghamian aides say the decision was taken in protest against the channel’s “highly biased” coverage of the election campaign.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian Public Television is not broadcasting campaign advertisements to the outside world through its satellite network. Its chairman, Aleksan Harutiunian, argues that many ads are of poor audiovisual quality and “do not meet the standards for satellite broadcasting.”