“Aravot” says that the authorities are urging the opposition to accept their electoral defeat “with dignity.” But, the paper says, it is the authorities that “should have won with dignity” in the first place. They themselves created fertile ground for fraud allegations. “Without getting the people’s vote of confidence it is impossible to govern the country,” the paper warns.
“Orran” describes the authorities’ handling of the run-off vote as a “constitutional colonization of the Armenian people.” Still, the regime has run into strong public resistance. “Nobody knows how the authorities are going to cope with the popular movement and what their hopes are.” Even the “mafia clans” that support it, the paper says.
“Iravunk,” attacking Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, says that “the so-called democracy with Armenian mentality” is not democracy at all. “In the geopolitical sense, the regime anxious to retain its hold on power drastically changed its geopolitical orientation, effectively marking the beginning of a confrontation process between Armenia and the West. But in the long term, it has already laid the groundwork for the weakening of Russia’s positions in Armenia. In the domestic political sense, the course of the elections and the falsification of results have led to a drastically polarization of the society and created favorable conditions for the unification of the opposition,” the paper says.
As for the pro-government camp, “Iravunk” says Kocharian owes his victory to “oligarchic and criminal” elements, not loyal parties that have served only as a “political smokescreen” for his presidential bid. Not surprisingly, the former will be demanding a payback from Kocharian in the form of many parliament seats. This, the paper reasons, will bring them into conflict with not only opposition but also pro-presidential parties. “So large was the scale of vote irregularities this time and so great is public intolerance of them that the possibility of digesting those falsifications is practically zero,” the paper concludes.
But as Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian tells “Hayots Ashkhar,” the March 5 run-off was “really normal and democratic” as evidenced by what he sees as the “absence of upheavals” in the country. Hovannisian at the same time admits that there were “very negative things” during the second round. But he blames those on the opposition. Hovannisian also dismisses U.S. criticism of the vote, referring to Washington as “a force seeking decisions stemming from the interests of our enemies.”
“Armenian journalism suffered an obvious defeat in the presidential elections,” writes “Azg.” The paper says virtually all newspapers and broadcasting services became mouthpieces of propaganda by various political forces. It says the pro-Kocharian Armenian Public Television damaged the incumbent with its heavy criticism of the opposition.