“168 Zham” criticizes Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s campaign team for forcing people to attend his rallies. The paper says this is being done to create an “imitation of public adoration of the authorities” and “legitimize vote falsifications.” “The main thing which would allow people to make a choice is absent,” it says, lamenting the lack of a TV debate between Sarkisian and Levon Ter-Petrosian.
“It is sad and divisive when the entourage of a candidate who served as president for eight years and is now again seeking the post of president divides the people into rebellious and weak sections, intellectuals and non-intellectuals,” “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” writes, criticizing the Ter-Petrosian campaign. The government says Ter-Petrosian’s discourse “does not fit into any limits of morality” and is “destructive for the country and society.” “At issue here is not the candidate but the society whom they are trying to make less vigilant and uncontrollable,” it says.
“When you closely follow Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s election campaign, you understand that its purpose is not to advertise that candidate but pressure and humiliate Armenia’s citizens,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The forcible transportation of people to his rallies in no way boosts Serzh Sarkisian’s rating. On the contrary, it can only be reduced in this way. But the important thing for the acting prime minister is not to have a high rating but to make sure that a person feels like an object and property of somebody else, rather than a human being. This is how the Kocharian-Sarkisian has stayed in power for ten years.”
Moscow-based pundit Andranik Markarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Ter-Petrosian has failed to turn the presidential race into a two-horse race between himself and Sarkisian. “Other candidates do not want to be Ter-Petrosian’s allies,” he says, adding that they have bigger grudge against Ter-Petrosian than the current authorities. Migranian predicts that the vast majority of Armenians will vote for Sarkisian in view of the Armenian government’s “concrete steps to improve the lives of ordinary people.”
“Azg” reports that of all presidential candidates Dashnaktsutyun’s Vahan Hovannisian has declared the largest amount of campaign funding: 30 million drams ($98,000). “Hovannisian is the only candidate who has received financial assistance from his party,” says the paper. It says Serzh Sarkisian has only 21.5 million drams and, according to his campaign headquarters, spent only 7.6 million drams. As for Ter-Petrosian, he has 12 million drams on his campaign account. “The first president has spent more than 6 million drams so far,” says “Azg.”