“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” writes that the Armenian opposition’s post-election actions are “directed against the establishment of civil society,” “impede “Armenia’s attempts at integration into the European family,” and “thwart the introduction of international standards into our political life.” The government-funded paper says the opposition “misinforms” the people when it says that Western observers’ criticism of the presidential election was aimed at the authorities.
But other pro-government newspapers do attack those observers. “Hayots Ashkhar” writes that unlike the Russian-led CIS, whose observers termed the election democratic, the West is not interested in political stability in Armenia. “The United States and a part of European structures that are under its influence have a vested interest in the formation of a regime in Armenia that would quickly get rid of the Karabakh issue, paving the way for the realization of their plans to penetrate the region,” the paper staunchly supporting President Kocharian says. The opposition has become “a tool in external pressure on Armenia.”
“The worst thing is that opposition representatives themselves contribute to the establishment of negative public opinion about Armenia and fully accept observers’ conclusions,” the deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” Torosian says the opposition forgets that “this is our country, we are going to live here and it must not be discredited.”
“Azg” also denounces the U.S. State Department for its criticism of the Armenian election. The paper suggests that “it is the United States that prompts the Armenian opposition to continue protest rallies and demonstrations.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that judging from Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s rejection of election criticism, the Kocharian administration is getting embroiled in “an open confrontation with the international community.” “This is an unprecedented fact in the history of the [post-Soviet Armenian] republic,” the paper writes. It says also unprecedented is the fact that thousands of protesters on Friday condemned Russia and cheered the West. Such a thing would seem impossible a few weeks ago.
“Aravot” says it is not surprised by the Kocharian campaign’s “nervous” reaction to international criticism. The paper editorializes that Serzh Sarkisian’s attempts to “justify” irregularities were not convincing. “According to his logic, the Europeans must have realized that electoral fraud is a normal thing in Armenian reality and there is nothing wrong in infringing on the people’s will.” “Europe and the United States did not recognize Kocharian’s victory and that could have negative consequences no so much for Kocharian as for our state,” “Aravot” concludes.
“Orran” says the head of a team of observers from the Council of Europe, Lord Russell-Johnston, implied at a news conference this week that the Armenian authorities are “not worthy” of the people they rule. “And because the leadership of the Republic of Armenia knows very well that it is not worthy, it is implementing a monstrous plan: to spoil the people so much that they become worthy of it. By terrorizing, lying, bribing and arresting that regime has made tens of thousands of us its accomplices,” the paper says.