For “Zhamanak Yerevan,” the publication by “Golos Armenii” of purported details of former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s conversation with a Yerevan-based British diplomat is a cause for serious concern. “In effect, nobody can guarantee that their secret conversations are not heard by various undesirable ears,” explains the paper. “Nobody can guarantee that they are not secretly recorded in a public place, be it a café or a park, and that that recording will not be disseminated across the country. Nobody can now be sure that there are no ‘bugs’ planted in their apartment, that their phone conversations are not wire-tapped, that their every step is not watched.”
“The Republican Party will get votes from all state servants, from the army to the condominiums,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Namely, all those who benefit from or depend on the state apparatus. Prosperous Armenia will get votes from those who have benefited from Gagik Tsarukian’s benevolence, plus those who believe in the fair tale that Mr. Tsarukian will rid us from the Karabakhis. Dashnaktsutyun’s electorate is those young people who continue to dream about turning Istanbul into a sea of blood, plus those who depend on the recently formed Dashnak nomenlatura. A part of the middle class and the non-nomenklatura intelligentsia sympathizes with Orinats Yerkir. The [opposition] National Unity Party will be mainly backed by grannies suffering from [Soviet] nostalgia -- those voted for the Communists 12-13 years ago.”
“The new thing about these elections is that the government camp has become the biggest employer,” former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratian tells “168 Zham.” “In Armenia, 44 families own 55 percent of GDP. You see, if those 44 families manage to agree on division of political power, it’s hard to fight against them. That is, the authorities are now influencing voters not only by resorting to administrative resources -- the army, the state apparatus, budgetary funds and so on -- but as an employer.”
“Hayk” reports that a group of leading Armenian pop singers will embark Thursday on a nationwide tour of the country to promote the governing Republican Party (HHK). “The singers have explained that they support the Republicans because they share the party’s ideology,” the paper says, finding this explanation ridiculous. It believes that they will be singing for the HHK for a more prosaic reason: money.