“Iravunk” predicts that it will be impossible to end the upcoming presidential election in one round given the “fragmented opposition”. “But this unavoidability of a runoff election shows that the authorities have failed to organize a successful campaign for the main candidate in the recent time.”
“Hayk” carries an interview with Andranik Hovakimian, a senior member of the former ruling Pan-Armenian National Movement party (HHSh), who derides statements issued by some political parties and figures about forming a “third pole”.
“There can be no third pole,” Hovakimian says. “The public has a clear idea of what the real distribution of forces is and knows that the idea of a third force is artificial. The emerging “third” force is an index of the authorities’ fear when they try to turn others into a tool to hit [former president] Levon Ter-Petrosian.”
“Iskakan Iravunk” writes on the same subject: “The best option for the Republican Party is, of course, ending the elections in one round. That will complete Republican control of all branches of power and Robert Kocharian will indeed become Armenia’s youngest pensioner. It will also put an end to Ter-Petrosian’s political career for good. In case of a runoff, the Republicans would not want either Ter-Petrosian or the candidate from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation as their opponents.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” remembers the “generation gap” problem observing the situation in a number of political parties. “The HHSh is diligently trying to gather its children scattered all over the political field. Some return home with guilty smiles, others pretend they don’t know their parent.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” calculates that Serzh Sarkisian will need at least 600,000 votes to become president. “No reasonable man will give him his vote, of course unless he is bribed for that. Considering the importance of the upcoming elections, the hike in prices and depreciation of the dollar, one can expect the average election bribe to stand at 10,000 drams (about $30). In other words, Sarkisian will need about $18 million. And the tactics of pseudo-opposition will obviously cost less.”
“Aravot” writes in its editorial that it is impossible that political parties competing with one another should limit their criticism only to the government candidate.
“It is an objective process and does not depend on any candidate’s open or secret intentions. Let’s leave aside Artashes Geghamian’s case when the authorities have put him forward only for lashing out at Ter-Petrosian and his team. Any other nominated candidate will do the same as long as there is a struggle for votes. And it is difficult to find a softer target than the ex-president.”