“Aravot” carries the findings of an opinion poll in Yerevan which suggest that the overwhelming majority of city residents think that Armenia will not see the kind of anti-government revolutions that occurred in Georgia and Ukraine. According to the phone poll commissioned by the paper, 73 percent of them believe no Armenian party is capable of staging huge street protests. Only about 28 percent said they are ready to take to the streets and demand regime change.
Hrant Markarian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Aravot” that the May parliamentary elections will give Armenians a choice between the four following things: slander, money, government levers and programs. “We have a program and appropriate cadres,” he says. “In this sense, I think the choice must be in our favor. But I also understand that now that the people are facing serious financial difficulties, psychological problems, a sense of insecurity they may prefer sponsorship by an influential person and slander to programs.”
“Hayk” reports that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian and Armenian police chief Hayk Harutiunian discussed the approaching elections with some 350 local government officials, civil servants and schoolteachers at a restaurant last week. “Representatives of the government elite gave assurances that in the event of falsifying the elections to the National Assembly, naturally in favor of pro-government parties, they will not be held accountable,” the paper says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says opposition leader Artashes Geghamian’s scandalous allegations that Sarkisian plotted to assassinate Gagik Tsarukian only proved that he plays into the authorities’ hands. As a former senior Communist, says the paper, Geghamian usually gets involved in “government projects.” “And so Geghamian, who has managed to spoil his relations with Serzh Sarkisian in recent years, has decided to not only take revenge on him but has found a new shadowy political partner in the Robert Kocharian-Gagik Tsarukian duo,” it speculates.
“Hayk” reports that the Office of the Prosecutor-General does not plan to investigate Geghamian’s allegations. A spokeswoman is quoted as saying that there will no criminal inquiry because the claims were denied by Kocharian’s office as well as the Republican and Prosperous Armenia parties.