“Aravot” believes that life in Armenia is now “more natural and free” than it was before independence. “Instead, we have seriously regressed in the spiritual sphere, education and intellectual standards,” editorializes the paper. “What did not exist in [Soviet] times is today’s aggressive ignorance, a de facto propaganda of impudence and indolence. When a graduate of the Institute of Physical Culture (Gagik Tsarukian) hires professors and academicians to embellish his electoral list, that is certainly an indicator of the moral state of our intelligentsia.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports on an opinion poll by the Armenian Sociological Association (ASA) which shows that Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia (BHK) is the most popular party, with 18 percent of Armenians said to be ready to vote for it in the upcoming elections. According to the ASA, whose surveys have been dismissed as fraudulent by opposition parties in the past, Prosperous Armenia is followed by the governing Republican Party (HHK) which has 10.6 percent. More than 26 percent of those polled are still undecided, the ASA said.
“Azg” quotes sociologist Lyudmila Harutiunian as questioning the credibility of Armenian polls. “We have only a handful of professionals,” says Harutiunian. “Buying them is becoming easier because they have big orders only during pre-election periods. The notion of professional ethics is not worth a penny here.” She calls this phenomenon “sociological corruption.” “In effect, they are appointing a parliament beforehand and don’t give a damn about the voter,” she adds.
“Campaigning for the elections to Armenia’s National Assembly will officially start only on April 8, but the HHK and the BHK have started providing free medical services, seeds, and flowers to Armenian citizens long ago,” writes “Hayk.” “Besides, [pro-government] media are trying to convince the long-suffering voters that everything has already been decided and that the only interesting thing about the parliamentary elections is the alleged rivalry between the HHK and the BHK. In reality, the authorities know from their secret opinion polls that in the event of a free and fair election, they would barely get 10-12 percent of the vote. Besides, it will be far more difficult to rig the vote and get away with that this time around than it was four years ago. In this situation, the authorities are trying to spread apathy among Armenian voters.”
“After May 12, the dissatisfied segment of the opposition will start organizing rallies and by really joining forces, the losers will cry that the National Assembly elections were falsified,” predicts “Taregir.” “And it may well be that thousands of disgruntled citizens come to the rallies staged by the unified opposition.” But, says the paper, opposition leaders will again start bickering as soon as they pull a large crowd in Yerevan.