“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” calls the May 12 parliamentary elections an important test for Armenia and its citizens. “The processes that have taken place so far can enable the voter to tell progress from stagnation, overt provocation from vigilance, meaningless rant from justified complaints. May 12 is a time for thinking.” The paper expresses hope that voters’ “sobriety will take precedence over temporary feelings.”
“Some Armenian citizens, who are disappointed with everything, will simply boycott the vote,” predicts “Iskakan Iravunk.” The paper says others will sell their votes or will make a conscious choice. “Of course, there are those who state that the elections will be rigged anyway. But the outcome of the elections depends on the Armenia citizens themselves, the percentage of citizens who will act like real citizens, come to polling stations, and vote the way they want.” The paper says the main source of fraud will be the votes of those Armenians who will stay at home.
“Tomorrow is the most important day of the electoral process,” writes “Taregir.” “In all elections held in the Third [Armenian] Republic the main falsifications took place on that day.” The paper sees a real possibility of more “crude falsifications.” “Tomorrow’s vote is important also because the parliamentary elections have a direct connection with the forthcoming presidential election. The outcome of tomorrow’s vote will somewhat reflect on the outcome of the presidential election.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Moscow-based pundit Andranik Markarian slams international organizations for criticizing the conduct of elections held in Armenia and other ex-Soviet states. “Generally speaking, it is unacceptable when a particular organization tries to act like a judge and impose its idea of democracy,” he says. “In particular, on the CIS countries that are in the so-called transition period. We ourselves know what democratic standards are and are able to single-handedly make decisions based on our approaches and principles. Naturally, within the framework of internationally accepted norms.”
“Aravot” reports that former residents of central Yerevan whose old houses have been controversially torn down will be unable to vote on Saturday because they are still registered at their old addresses. The paper says they were left off the voter registers despite applying to relevant authorities as recently as last week. “It emerged yesterday that those people are going to appeal to foreign ambassadors to Armenia, observer missions, the Armenian offices of the Council of Europe and the OSCE in connection with the violation of their rights,” it adds.