“Yerkir” writes that Armenia will have “serious problems” in the international arena if it fails to ensure that the May 25 parliamentary elections are more democratic than the presidential ones. “If someone thinks that the international community could turn a blind on irregularities, then they are absolutely wrong,” the newspaper of the Dashnaktsutyun party says. A clean vote is also essential for Armenia’s long-term political stability. “Only a legitimate government executing the people’s will can lay the necessary groundwork for the development of the society.”
But as “Aravot” comments, Dashnaktsutyun and other parties that unconditionally backed President Kocharian’s presidential bid are now making “unsuccessful attempts to win the trust of the electorate.” “Their current speeches allow one to suspect that they have no serious political principles,” the paper says. “Those who backed Kocharian have instantly become his critics. It turns out now that there are not as many good things about the president as the rulers thought. Now they assure us that they want to change things.”
Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian tells “Orran” that his Republican Party and other pro-Kocharian groups failed to form a single alliance because “some forces overestimated their capabilities.” Abrahamian says the Republicans will win a majority in the next parliament as a result of a “dignified and fair struggle.” He says that will happen “regardless of whether or not some people like it.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports that the chief of Kocharian’s staff, Artashes Tumanian, admitted that many Armenians are unhappy with their government’s performance during a campaign trip on Tuesday. Tumanian, who is a top candidate of Dashnaktsutyun, said that is why opposition presidential candidates garnered hundreds of thousands of votes. This should be a wake-up call to the pro-presidential camp, he said.
Tumanian, according to “Hayots Ashkhar,” also said that Dashnaktsutyun remains loyal to Kocharian, while seeking “radical changes” in the country.
Karapet Rubinian, a former deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament who is also running for parliament, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that although the opposition has few chances of winning the elections it will force Kocharian to “once again resort to falsifications and repression.” “That will shorten Kocharian’s days in power,” he claims. “Our struggle cuts short the dictator’s term in office.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also quotes the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Artak Sahradian, as defending the controversial decision by a lower-level election body to bar opposition leader Aram Karapetian from contesting the elections. The paper says this means the CEC will soon remove Karapetian from the electoral list of Stepan Demirchian’s Artarutyun alliance. It reports that Karapetian filed a lawsuit against the commission on Tuesday.