According to “Aravot,” Armenians will face a difficult choice when they again go to the polls on March 5. “One of the presidential contenders has clearly dictatorial inclinations and is intolerant. The other is a kind person, but has not yet expressed any cohesive thoughts,” the paper argues. It claims that if Demirchian had government resources at his disposal we too would falsify the election. So would do Artashes Geghamian. The problem is that Armenians want to elect not a president but a king with a “divine mandate” who would solve their problems in one fell swoop.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” draws parallels between the ongoing Demirchian rallies and the 1988 Karabakh movement. The paper claims that scores of government officials have effectively defected to the opposition camp. “They announce that they will not resort to vote rigging in anyone’s favor during the run-off.”
“Orran,” covering Friday’s opposition rally, also sees “the spirit of 1988” hanging in the air. “In recent days, almost all high-ranking government officials have begun restoring their past links with opposition leaders,” the paper writes. “Orran” also predicts that opposition leader Artashes Geghamian will likely side with Kocharian ahead of the second round.
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Geghamian argues that a second round would be a “trap” for the opposition. He says Demirchian would thus validate Kocharian’s 49.8 percent rating. “The opposition must demand that the elections be held anew,” Geghamian says, adding he is against any street protests against Kocharian.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says Demirchian lacks the objective information about the situation on the ground. Opposition allies have already instilled in him belief that he has already been elected president.
“Wasn’t it the opposition who dreamed about going into a run-off and beating Kocharian then?” asks “Golos Armenii.” “Now they have that opportunity, but their desire to act with democratic methods seems to have disappeared because they stand no chance of victory.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses Demirchian of failing to use “civilized” methods of political struggle. “The opposition is thereby leading the country into a political deadlock, accepting responsibility for all the consequences.” Robert Kocharian’s convincing victory in the second round is inevitable, the paper concludes.