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Press Review


“Aravot” says Armenian opposition parties that failed to win any parliament seats expected Western election observers to give them a “glimmer of hope” by criticizing the conduct of the vote. “But to their great dismay, that did not happen,” writes the paper. “It was certainly a big blow to our oppositionists.” It hopes that they will “draw useful lessons for the future” from the fiasco.

“Hayots Ashkhar” hopes that the Armenian government will use positive international reaction to the elections as a “foreign policy trump card in processes unfolding in our region.” “Constantly playing with that trump card in order to conceal reasons for your defeat in the elections means playing against your own country,” the paper says, referring to the opposition. “And if there is nothing serious to be said at this point, they must put an end to unnecessary speculations and think about the country’s future.”

“Serzh Sarkisian has realized his dream to have an absolute majority in the National Assembly,” writes “Iskakan Iravunk.” “For its part, the Prosperous Armenia Party has effectively failed to attain its goal and garnered half of the HHK vote. Thus, Serzh Sarkisian’s path to the post of Armenia’s president has been paved, while the HHK can single-handedly form a government. Even if it offers the BHK or Dashnaktsutyun or both of them to form a coalition, that will be presented as a huge favor and will make their participation [in government] only formal.”

According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” another result of the vote is a “generation change” in the opposition ranks. “In place of Stepan Demirchian, Artashes Geghamian and many others, Raffi Hovannisian and Artur Baghdasarian will work as opposition in the coming years,” the paper says, predicting that they too will pose no danger to the ruling regime. “In essence, the authorities swindled all those who have cooperated with them. This will be a good lesson to all those political forces who will try to enter the parliament by cutting deals with the authorities.”

“Many note with satisfaction that shallow but ambitious forces playing dual games have been left out of the parliament,” editorializes “Hayk.” “Unfortunately, their satisfaction ends there and runs into a question: Who has taken their holy place? Their place has been taken by money bags devoid of elementary knowledge of legislative activity.”

“Hayk” also reports that during the vote count in a village in the Ararat region election officials found a 5,000-dram banknote put into an envelope along with a ballot. The paper says the person who cast it wrote “shame” on the note worth $14. It says local election commission members were more attentive in opening the vote envelopes after that, hoping to find more cash “returned by the people.” “A long search produced no results, however,” concludes “Hayk.”

(Atom Markarian)
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