“The authorities are so worried about the fact of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s [election] nomination that they are discussing the issue of prematurely taking him out of the electoral struggle,” claims “Zhamanak Yerevan.” The paper says Ter-Petrosian’s non-registration as a presidential candidate is being discussed “at the highest level.” “That could be done if some false information is found in Ter-Petrosian’s income declaration,” it says, adding that the question for the authorities if whether such a move would be harder for them to “digest” than blatant vote rigging.
Meanwhile, Razmik Zohrabian, deputy chairman of the governing Republican Party (HHK), again attacks Ter-Petrosian in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Ter-Petrosian is seeking not to return to power, because that is simply impossible, but to again further his defeatist approaches on the Karabakh issue,” says Zohrabian. “It is no accident that the [Minsk Group] co-chairs have again been active lately, are submitting new proposals, trying to secure agreement on the main principles of a settlement before the elections. They probably hope that the activation of Levon Ter-Petrosian and the HHSh enables them to exert pressure and impose some unacceptable solutions on the Armenian side.”
“In terms of votes, Serzh Sarkisian has absolutely no chances of becoming president,” a senior member of the opposition Hanrapetutyun party, Smbat Ayvazian, tells “Aravot.” “I believe that if he and his entourage make a sober assessment of the situation, Serzh Sarkisian will withdraw his candidacy,” claims Ayvazian.
In a separate interview with “Aravot,” Deputy Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian, who is also Sarkisian’s campaign manager, that the prime minister and his supporters will not be drawn into “low-quality debates” during the pre-election period. Abrahamian assures the paper that “every member of our team sincerely believes in the victory of our candidate and is confident that we can have an Armenia we crave for only with Serzh Sarkisian’s victory.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries an interview with Vartan Malkhasian, an opposition activist and Karabakh war veteran imprisoned on coup charges. Malkhasian reaffirms his support for Levon Ter-Petrosian and praises the former president for promising to “restore constitutional order.” He says there is nothing wrong about the fact that “the political field has been divided into the black and the white.” “If Levon did not return to active politics, there would be no united front and the opposition would once again lose,” concludes Malkhasian.