Pro-government pollster Gevorg Poghosian assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that there will be no post-election “color revolution” in Armenia because Armenians are not enthusiastic about “revolutionary changes.” “The people want a continuous development and progress,” he says. “Our people stand for slow but steady reforms and are against upheavals.” Poghosian says voters will not back Levon Ter-Petrosian in droves because he “regards Turkey and Azerbaijan as Armenia’s main economic partners.” “The people do not want that and do not consider the proposed way of solving problems to be the best.”
“Azg” likewise contends that many in Armenia want “change but no revolution.” “That is, a natural fear of instability forces a huge section of the population to continue to defend the current authorities and fear that the new rulers would start from destroying things,” says the paper. It claims that most Armenians think Ter-Petrosian and his allies are keen to take revenge on those who forced them out of power nearly ten years ago.
“Aravot,” meanwhile, reflects on continuing mistrust in Armenian opinion polls. “Either the pollsters are illiterate, or respondents are scared and do not express their real views when interviewed,” it says. The paper goes on to report that according to a new poll commissioned by it, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and Levon Ter-Petrosian would get 19.2 percent and 9.2 percent of the vote respectively if the presidential election was held this Sunday. The paper says the two men are followed by Vazgen Manukian (4.4 percent), Artur Baghdasarian (2.1 percent), Vahan Hovannisian (2 percent) and Artashes Geghamian (1.4 percent). More than 30 percent of those polled are still undecided, according to “Aravot.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” sees no let-up in Western pressure on Robert Kocharian to sign up to a framework peace accord on Karabakh before his exit from power. “According to sources close to the negotiating process, agreement has been reached in principle on all main issues,” reports the paper. “Robert Kocharian only has to order the withdrawal of troops [from occupied Azerbaijani lands.]” It says the Armenian side would be left in control of Karabakh itself and a 40-kilometer corridor linking to Armenia.
“168 Zham” says that if the Armenian authorities were principled enough they would bar not only opposition leaders Raffi Hovannisian and Aram Karapetian but the controversial TV commentator Tigran Karapetian from standing in the election. The paper says the latter has not lived in Armenia for the past ten as he returned to Yerevan from the Russian city of Volgograd only in 2001.