“Hayk” says the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) will fail to “enjoy the pleasure of being in opposition for a second time.” “Not because the authorities, bowing to a Dashnaktsutyun blackmail, will agree to give them a few more percentage points [in the upcoming elections,]” says the paper. “Dashnaktsutyun will get as many votes as were planned by Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. And the revolutionary comrades will never ever dare to become opposition.” The paper, controlled by the former ruling HHSh party, claims that the ruling regime has compromising material against everyone, and Dashnaktsutyun is no exception.
“And if the Dashnak comrades one day decide to revolt against a regime created by themselves, then Robert Kocharian, citing a change of the situation, will send the Dashnaks to the place from which they had come out in 1998,” continues “Hayk.” “After all, Vahan Hovannisian and his friends realize that they got out of jail simply because of a change of the situation. The criminal case against them has not been dropped, and the Dashnaks have never been acquitted.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” asks political commentator Armen Badalian to explain reasons for the rapid growth of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “The BHK has brought a political impetus,” he says, adding that this is something which Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party failed to do after its ouster from the governing coalition. “The segment of the society which is dissatisfied with the government’s track record but is even more unhappy with the opposition … is pinning hopes on this newly formed party,” says Badalian.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” quite a few Armenians see democracy in the country and feel that it is beneficial for them. “But naturally, they are not a majority,” cautions the paper. “Hence, the majority’s critical opinion about the degree of democracy in the country.”
Interviewed by “Aravot,” a senior member of the opposition People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK) claims that not only local government officials but also social security workers in Yerevan are actively campaigning for the governing Republican Party (HHK). Ruzanna Khachaturian claims that poor voters are being told to vote for the HHK or risk losing poverty benefits paid by the state.
“Hayk” alleges that quasi-criminal elements holding sway in various Yerevan neighborhoods are receiving similar warnings from the National Security Service (NSS). The paper says NSS officers are collecting their mobile phone numbers and offering them to run campaign offices of the HHK and other pro-government parties.