“Hayots Ashkhar” says leaders of the Armenian opposition have failed to learn any lessons from their defeat in the May 12 parliamentary elections. “The [final] results of the parliamentary elections have not yet been released, but half a dozen opposition leaders have already announced their resolve to stand in and win the forthcoming parliamentary elections,” writes the paper. It says there are no signs that any of them is ready to withdraw from the unfolding presidential race for the sake of opposition unity.
“The public has not yet recovered from a deep disappointment that resulted from the opposition’s inability to unite, but big and small opposition leaders consider the problem of the National Assembly elections resolved and are already talking about their brilliant and ‘crushing’ victory in the 2008 presidential elections,” writes “Iskakan Iravunk.” “In effect, it is already clear that the opposition will also be fragmented in 2008 by acting with numerous and diverse candidates. For some people, the results of the elections to the National Assembly are probably not interesting anymore.”
“Serzh Sarkisian has essentially succeeded in solving the issue of his future presidency,” says “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Not only has he declared that he will put forward his candidacy but has done everything to ensure that he is challenged by highly unsavory [opposition] figures who make him look like an angel against such a backdrop.”
According to “Iravunk,” the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) hopes to secure the post of parliament speaker and control at least two parliament committees with the help of President Robert Kocharian.
“In general, when social polarization is strong and socioeconomic conditions are severe, any people, be it in Africa, Georgia, or Uzbekistan, simply can not re-elect a government responsible for their plight,” comments “Taregir.” “Therefore, the challenge for our oppositionists was to keep the people’s vote.” But, says the paper, the three opposition parties that are represented in all election commissions failed to seriously oversee the voting and counting of ballots. It suggests that most of their commissions members were either bribed or intimidated.
“Aravot” says the authorities have brought hundreds of special troops from Nagorno-Karabakh in preparation for a possible post-election crackdown on the opposition. The paper says they are camped in about 50 tents pitched in a grove not far from Yerevan. It says one of those soldiers spoke to its correspondent in the Karabakh Armenian dialect. The correspondent also saw there masked men in black uniforms and flak jackets who “showed [troops] how to repel attacks against them.” “The black uniforms very much resembled uniforms worn by security forces that clashed with opposition demonstrators outside the National Security Service on May 9.”