“Hayots Ashkhar” says that within only two days of campaigning Armenian presidential candidates managed to leave voters “dizzy” with their generous promises. “Of course, every candidate has the right to give promises to voters. But how real and realistic are they?” asks the paper.
“Aravot” discusses “slave-like manifestations” in Armenia’s political elite. “Presidential candidates continue to compete and spend huge sums on getting a Russian media outlet to mention their name in a positive context,” explains the paper. “You can’t blame the candidates too much because most Armenians care not so much about who they will elect president as who has received [Vladimir] Putin’s go-ahead.”
“Aravot” is convinced that the Kremlin will not explicitly endorse any of the Armenian presidential hopefuls before the February 19 vote. Their behavior, it says, is doing the country a huge disservice as it causes Armenians to continue to feel like “residents of a [Russian] colony.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” attacks Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian for dividing Armenian journalists into “evil” and decent ones at a New Year’s reception organized for them last week. The paper says Sarkisian should instead take a look at his own entourage and see that it is mostly made up of people who “flatter him solely because of his current post, finances and position and will quickly turn to someone else tomorrow.” “Needless to say that during Ter-Petrosian’s years in power there was also no lack of such individuals in the government,” it says. “But while in power, Ter-Petrosian had a group of associates espousing certain ideas who gave up their high-level posts after Ter-Petrosian’s resignation.”
Another pro-Ter-Petrosian paper, “Hayk,” claims that employees of various government agencies are being told by their bosses to input their and their relatives’ passport data into special forms. “Those forms have a special place where people have to specify the electoral precinct in which they will vote,” says the paper. It says top executives of the ARG national gas company are particularly “zealous” in having their workers fill out such forms. However, “Hayk” does not name any of those executives.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” dismisses a Russian-Armenian business forum held in Yerevan this week as a public relations stunt aimed at boosting Serzh Sarkisian’s electoral chances. “A government which is incapable of carrying out any reforms and which supports the country at the expense of labor exports and remittances from abroad can not do anything other than holding and advertising conferences ahead of elections,” says the opposition daily.