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Press Review


“168 Zham” says that the 30 days of campaigning set by Armenia’s Electoral Code do not give presidential candidates enough time to achieve “radical changes” in the electorate’s attitudes. The paper says it takes years, not months, to build a political image and reputation. “At least six of the nine presidential candidates claim that they will win,” it says. “Such statements are primarily meant to have a psychological impact on their own teammates. But there are circumstances which are not dependent on the candidates and are difficult to rectify even with the possibility of month-long campaigning.”

“Azg” comments on Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s pledge to punish candidates slandering after the elections. The paper is worried that the threats traded by Sarkisian and Levon Ter-Petrosian could damage Armenia’s reputation. “In a country where political and apolitical vendettas are not unusual, such threats are not manifestations of a mere rooster fight,” it says. “We have seen and felt bloody proof of that under both the former and current authorities.”

“Aravot” is also unhappy with the deepening war of words between the two camps. In particular, the paper, known for its sympathy for Ter-Petrosian, deplores the ex-president’s threats to imprison members of the current regime. “They smack of Bolshevism,” it says in an editorial. “Humanity has gone through this for many times and knows that handing the punitive sword to any victorious force does not lead to the establishment of justice.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” complains that few prominent Armenian artists and intellectuals have joined what it sees as the ongoing opposition fight for “freedom.” “For most of them, saying hello to Serzh or any other official is the climax [of happiness,] flattering oligarchs and begging for 100 dollars a sign of appreciation, appearing on TV the pinnacle of imagination,” says the opposition daily. “They don’t need freedom because freedom will only expose their petty, terribly petty essence.”

(Atom Markarian)
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