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Press Review


“The people did not take part in the referendum,” reads a headline in “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper says Yerevan looked like a “dead city” on Sunday. But it says in one village, Dzorakap, only one out of almost 800 voters cast a ballot. Dzorakap became famous in 2003 after President Robert Kocharian failed to win a single vote there.

“Real figures?” “Aravot” asks in a front-page headline. The paper claims that the West gave the Armenian authorities the blank check to rig Sunday’s constitutional referendum and predicts that European observers will “turn a blind eye on a false ‘yes.’” But the paper says that does not mean “our country’s international positions will strengthen after the referendum.”

But “Hayots Ashkhar” hails the “successful course” of the referendum and expects an international recognition of its official results. The paper claims that this will enable Armenia to “finally leave Azerbaijan behind.” But it says any political upheaval could keep the country on a par with its arch-rival in the eyes of the international community. “Casting doubt on the referendum results in any way, means not dealing a blow to the government or forces supporting it but directly contributing to a weakening of our country’s international standing.”

“Nobody expected that the opposition will recognize the referendum results,” reasons “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “The announced boycott had a clear calculation: to attribute all citizens who have not participate in the voting to itself.” The government-funded paper says only those people who attend opposition rallies have really boycotted the process. “The opposition failed to gather more than two thousand people in recent days,” it notes. “Therefore, the people, on whose behalf the opposition is speaking, only comprises two thousand persons.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” attacks President Robert Kocharian for openly voting for the amendments on Sunday. The paper considers this a serious violation of the secrecy of balloting. “The right to open voting invented by Kocharian means that elections are not secret anymore,” it says. “Of course, Kocharian can pretend not realizing this. But in any case, the cynicism is amazing.”

(Armen Dulian)
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