Harutiun Pambukian, a wealthy businessman who managed the ruling Republican Party’s mayoral election campaign in Yerevan, tells “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” that “the vast majority of the public” does not regard the May 31 elections as fraudulent. He maintains that there was no ballot stuffing and large-scale vote buying on voting day.
“Hraparak” is disappointed with the Armenian opposition’s reaction to the polls and, in particular, its decision not to hold more rallies in Yerevan in the next three months, calling that “an incomprehensible behavior.” “After all, there are, in effect, two types of political struggle – a tough, street struggle involving boycott and civil disobedience, rallies and other actions, and slow, evolutionary struggle where one tries to achieve success with small, consistent steps, by legal and constitutional means,” writes the paper. “If the first path is chosen then, then talking about breaks, holidays, winning time is just ridiculous,” it says, attacking opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian … If the latter [tactic] is chosen, then it was wrong to abandon [municipal council] mandates and compromises.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” dismisses talk of the establishment of a new, “nationalist” grouping of Armenian parties that would represent an alternative to both the government and the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition. The paper believes that there no sufficient prerequisites for the emergence of such a camp.
“Golos Armenii” says that the several opposition figures facing trial on charges stemming from the March 2008 violence in Yerevan have become “hostages to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s efforts to clinch concessions from Armenia.” “This hostage taking is almost pointless because the radical opposition’s games are clear and the summer session of the PACE will hardly speed up a solution,” says the paper. “The authorities have repeatedly made clear that those accused in the March 1 case can be freed only after the judicial processes are over. For if the authorities simply stopped judicial proceedings against the latter, then that would mean an admission of the weakness of the Armenian judicial system.”