“Aravot” comments that the rivalry between the Republican and Dashnaktsutyun parties manifested itself on election day. The paper claims that Dashnaktsutyun became the victim of fraud and dirty tricks used against opposition candidates in the recent presidential election. It quotes a leading member of the party, Gegham Manukian, as saying that the Dashnaks will challenge the official vote results in court.
“The best traditions continue,” reads a sarcastic headline in “Ayb-Fe.” The paper says the elections and the constitutional referendum were Armenia’s last chance to demonstrate to the West that it may still become a democracy. But the polls were hardly different from the controversial presidential election. “Once again the chairman of the Central Election Commission, Artak Sahradian, single-handedly fixed the election results,” the paper says, pointing to the drastic increase in the official turnout figures during the last hour of voting.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the mood was festive in the headquarters of several pro-presidential parties shortly after the end of voting. Particularly enthusiastic were the leaders of the Orinats Yerkir party. They expected to win only a major representation in the National Assembly but also the government. Other groups, not represented in the outgoing parliament, were confident about clearing the 5 percent vote barrier.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also quotes the campaign manager of the governing Republican Party, Galust Sahakian, as advising its opponents to “endure their defeat like a man.”
“Aravot” reports that voters in the village of Dzorakap in the northwestern Shirak province unanimously boycotted the parliamentary elections on Sunday. Dzorakap is the native village of Mushegh Saghatelian, the former chief of Armenia’s prisons jailed last year after falling out with President Robert Kocharian. None of the villagers had voted for Kocharian last winter. “This is our form of protest against injustice,” one of them told the paper.