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Press Review


“Aravot” writes that candidates in the upcoming Armenian parliamentary elections will face a daunting task of winning the hearts and minds of voters disillusioned with reported fraud in the recent presidential ballot. The paper says they can do that either with “fresh ideas” or “a primitive, but apparently more justified and effective means” such as vote bribes. Many of the candidates can afford them. “So long live the opposition! It has already given substantial benefits to the population,” the paper notes sarcastically.

“Iravunk” comments that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, having secured Russia’s quick recognition of Robert Kocharian’s legitimacy, is now trying to make sure that Moscow gives its go-ahead to the electoral victory of the Republican Party. That would allow Sarkisian to become the “master” of the country. The paper claims that Sarkisian’s intentions do not sit well with Kocharian who will do his best to prevent any force from winning a clear majority in the next parliament. Paradoxically, Kocharian may now be interested in the strong showing of Stepan Demirchian’s Artarutyun (Justice) alliance.

“Azg” says the opposition is “seriously” preparing for the elections in the hope of winning the majority of seats in the National Assembly. “The opposition realizes that it can come to power only like that,” the paper says. “If the opposition succeeds in winning a political majority the president will have to reckon with that when forming the government.” The opposition is also looking to capitalize on growing divisions inside the government camp.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the most interesting electoral battle is expected in a single-mandate constituency in central Yerevan where the leaders of two mutually hostile parties, Dashnaktsutyun and the former ruling HHSh, are among the main candidates. The paper quotes the HHSh’s Ararat Zurabian as saying that he looks forward to the clash with Dashnak leader Vahan Hovannisian. “We will witness a competition between the HHSh and Dashnak ideologies,” Zurabian says. “Let the society judge whose ideas are more viable and understandable.”

“Orran” writes that the Armenian authorities are “frantically” preparing for the June session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that will discuss the fulfillment of Armenia’s membership obligations. The paper compares the authorities to a “lazy student” who has skipped lectures throughout the semester and is trying to learn the subject in a few days and pass the exam. “Our authorities have only just recalled their obligations to the Council of Europe,” it says, adding that Yerevan is creating only an “illusion” of meeting those obligations. But, “Orran” concludes, it is no longer possible to “deceive” the Council of Europe.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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