"Orran" paints a highly grim picture of how Armenia's next parliament, to be elected on May 25, will look like. The paper says it will be dominated by wealthy and well-connected individuals with weak intellectual skills. It dismisses some government officials' claims that the parliament, no matter how bad it is, will mirror Armenian society. Armenians, according to "Orran," are more "progressive" than their rulers.
"Aravot" downplays the significance of transparent ballot boxes for the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections. The paper argues that the same boxes were used during the recent presidential election but that did not prevent widespread ballot box stuffing. The authorities agreed to use them again only because of international pressure. "In any case, the fairness of the forthcoming elections will in no way depend on them," the paper concludes.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" claims that the authorities intend to destroy all documents, including ballots, relating to the last presidential election. Citing anonymous sources, the paper says the decision was taken after the opposition announced plans to file a lawsuit to the European Court for Human Rights.
"Ayb-Fe" notes that the authorities are "doing nothing" to drum up popular support for President Robert Kocharian's draft amendments to the Armenian constitution, "thereby predetermining the failure of the constitutional referendum." "Kocharian is doing nothing to give ordinary citizens an idea of those changes. Kocharian wants the people to vote against his changes and that is why he resorts to illegality before the voting," the paper says. "He wants to make it clear to the Council of Europe that his legitimacy is put in doubt in a country where the people are against the idea of constitutional changes approved by the Council of Europe. All in all, Kocharian does not care whether or not the results of the referendum will be falsified."
"Yerkir" continues to address what it sees as widespread vote buying in the ongoing election campaign. "Of course, there is nothing wrong in helping those in need. On the contrary, it is absolutely normal, humane and welcome," the paper writes. "But when they help poor not out of humanism and altruism but in anticipation of their votes, that is business, not help. More precisely, that is a political trickery, fraud and crime. Yes, the villagers need fertilizers, the schools need computers and, in general, many things are in short supply. But what we lack most is honesty and integrity. All those who want to enter the parliament by handing out vote bribes have no moral right to speak about justice and the rule of law."
According to "Haykakan Zhamanak," the Armenian government's rosy macroeconomic statistics is a key reason why the United States intends to cut its annual assistance to Armenia. "The Americans use data from the Armenian National Statistical Service according to which Armenia is experiencing an economic miracle," the paper says.