“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the opposition Artarutyun (Justice) alliance is now “in serious crisis,” having “nothing serious to say or do” in the election campaign. The paper says that is part of a “broader and deeper crisis, a crisis of justice” in Armenia. It says Stepan Demirchian’s “phenomenon” is not as effective as it was in the presidential election. “Apart from that phenomenon, the Artarutyun bloc needs something else, an idea that would consolidate the society. But this is what they totally lack.”
Artarutyun is also attacked by a senior member of Artashes Geghamian’s National Unity Party. Hmayak Hovannisian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that leaders of the opposition parties making up Artarutyun have no common platform and therefore can not produce “any positive result.” “In this context, the existence of the Artarutyun alliance is a political nonsense and very seriously endangers the future of our country,” he says.
“Hmayak Hovannisian and the likes of him are much worse than even Robert Kocharian,” Artarutyun’s campaign chief, Stepan Zakarian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The Artarutyun leadership, Zakarian says, believes that “there are only two classical con men inside the opposition: Geghamian and the Communists.”
“Orran” also slams Geghamian, scornfully describing him as “the savior of all Armenians.” Nobody, the paper says, can compete with him in “self-advertisement.” His election campaign is a “theater of one actor.”
“Aravot” reports that Geghamian has let it be known that he does not want the newspaper to cover his campaign. “The electorate is disappointed with political forces in general and National Unity in particular because it is no longer secret for any voter with a more or less analytical mind that National Unity is as much an opposition as the authorities want it to be. The people changed their opinion about National Unity after Geghamian breached his agreement with opposition political forces and did not back the opposition [presidential] candidate who made it to the second round.” The paper claims that Geghamian does not want journalists to be present at his campaign rallies in various regions of Armenia because few people attend them. Only state television “has the honor” to cover the Geghamian campaign.
“Ayb-Fe” reports that the trial of Nairi Hunanian and the four other parliament gunmen has again been postponed. The trial attorney for the family of the late Karen Demirchian, Ashot Sargsian, attributes the delay to the upcoming elections. “I really can’t understand what it is that could have happened in the court and affected the elections,” he says. Sargsian says the authorities have finally botched the long-running investigation into the October 1999 shootings.