“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at the conflicting results of various opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the Armenian elections. “As a result, their results reflect the wishes of those who have commissioned a particular survey and pollsters’ attempts to appear objective and save face,” writes the paper. “These two motives are often so mixed in some survey rankings that it is difficult to tell apart lies and truth.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” claims that President Robert Kocharian is deliberately delaying the appointment of Armenia’s new defense minister in order to “impede the dramatic rise of Serzh Sarkisian.”
“Taregir” notes that the Central Election Commission has purchased more ballot boxes than are needed for the conduct of the elections. “Let us hope that the extra 1,300 ballot boxes will be enough for the authorities to secure their pre-election percentage points,” the paper comments cynically. “It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to stuff them in advance and replace those to be stuffed on May 12 with them and then empty them in front of observers.”
“Hayk” alleges that Armenian crime figures based abroad are arriving in Yerevan at the government’s invitation to “mitigate the situation with crime” in the country and earn pro-government candidates more votes. “This fact again proves that our authorities rely not on law-enforcers but crime figures,” the paper says in an editorial.
According to “Zhamanak Yerevan,” Hakob Hakobian, a controversial businessman barred from again running for parliament, is selling off his assets in preparation for his emigration from Armenia. “Three envoys of Gagik Tsarukian have taken a look at three Hakobian-owned gas stations that will be given to [Tsarukian’s] Multi Group on Kocharian’s order,” says the paper. It claims that Kocharian has also decided to “get hold” of other properties owned by Hakobian.
“Aravot” reports that Vahram Baghdasarian, the pro-government candidate in a constituency in the northern Lori region, is spreading rumors that he will be named regional governor in case he is defeated by his opposition challenger, Victor Dallakian. The paper says Baghdasarian is thereby warning Lori’s current governor, Aram Kocharian, that he could lose his job if Baghdasarian fails to get elected. It says he is also telling local residents that “they won’t get rid of him in any case.”