“168 Zham” says few Armenians care about the election manifestos of the main presidential candidates “not only because everything is personalized in our country but because everything is inherently based on shaky foundations, on lies.” “One should first make an objective evaluation of the present situation and only then talk about future programs,” says the paper. “What we see is extremes. In the words of the authorities, we are on the path to heaven, while according to the opposition, we are already knocking on hell’s doors.”
“Levon Ter-Petrosian’s return to politics and participation in the presidential elections may have made them more intriguing, but it has sharply lowered the bar in political debate,” writes “Azg.” “The former president began hurling personal insults and threats not only at representatives of power but virtually all other more or less known candidates.” The paper says this “Bolshevik-style” tactic has led to an atmosphere of intolerance in the country. “In essence, a clash of ideas and programs has given way to an exchange of insults and blackmail,” it says.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Ter-Petrosian stands no chance to win the election because he has opted for “the path of confrontation.” “The path of disseminating discord and dividing the people can never lead to success,” says the pro-government paper. “Ter-Petrosian and his entourage have injected so much venom into the political scene that others are forced to respond.”
“Aravot” quotes a spokeswoman for Stepan Demirchian’s People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK) as commenting on Serzh Sarkisian’s threat to punish opposition leaders “slandering” him after the election. “This is overt pressure and an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear,” says Ruzan Khachatrian. “Especially taking into consideration the fact that there have been such precedents.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that some 40 residents of the northwestern town of Maralik affiliated with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) have decided to quit it in protest against the BHK’s endorsement of Serzh Sarkisian. The paper carries a written statement by them which voices support for Ter-Petrosian’s presidential bid.