Several Armenian newspapers compare electoral practices in Armenia and Azerbaijan in the wake of the Azerbaijani parliamentary elections.
“168 Zham” says Armenia is getting a chance to pull further ahead of Azerbaijan in terms of democratic development. All it has to do is to hold “more quality elections.” The paper says that is “extremely important in terms of gaining positive treatment by the international community in Karabakh negotiations.” “Or else, Armenia would occupy a ‘worthy’ place alongside Azerbaijan in terms of parliamentary elections,” it warns, suggesting that “the latter option is much more likely.”
“If all goes like it’s going today, then the 2012 parliamentary elections in Armenia will also be held calmly, peacefully and without serious incidents,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Because everyone knows that election results are rigged not only on election day. They are rigged when no independent TV station is on the air, when all state and security structures, educational institutions as well as the electricity and water networks are already working to ensure the victory of ruling parties, when it is already decided how the money will be distributed, not only to voters but election commissions, proxies and monitors.” The paper claims that vote rigging is also facilitated by what it calls secret collaboration between Armenian and European officials who would “welcome an election held in any fashion.”
“There is an evidently pre-term situation in Armenia,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “Opposition representatives claim that if there are fair elections, the [ruling] HHK will hardly garner 10-15 percent of the vote, while the Republicans are saying, ‘No, it’s you who will barely get 10-15 percent.’” The pro-opposition paper says it is “absolutely meaningless” to engage in such debates. “There is only one question. Will it be possible to destroy the system of electoral fraud or not?” it adds, concluding that Armenia will go through another bloody post-election unrest if that system remains intact.
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes a spokesman for businessman and Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian as confirming reports that he owns Yerevan’s famous central market and plans to thoroughly reconstruct it. “The building’s exterior will be maintained,” says Khachik Gevorgian.