“Haykakan Zhamanak” makes a case for intolerance as a chief factor that will eventually help stamp out vote rigging in Armenia.
“The degree of success depends on how many citizens there are in the country who are not ready to tolerate vote rigging and how many who are and on just how tolerable of vote rigging are those who are ready to tolerate it. No official can rig a vote himself. If he intends to rig a vote, he first needs to grow a whole army of helpers and unleash it against polling stations during elections. There are thousands of such people, but they are not brought here from abroad, they are citizens of Armenia,” writes the daily.
“Yerkir” argues that the Sunday local elections in two provincial towns of Armenia were of no better quality than all other elections held in the country in the past 16 years. “Meanwhile, at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly the republic’s president proudly stated that authorities in Armenia unequivocally attached importance to the role of fair and transparent elections in the matter of further statehood development and deemed public trust in elections was important,” the paper comments.
“Zhamanak” regards a hypothetical scenario with Armenia’s ex-president Robert Kocharian taking the post of Karabakh’s foreign minister that became vacant after the resignation of Georgy Petrosian [he was elected member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Bureau last weekend].
“Who will be Karabakh’s new foreign minister? To say that it is a very important post, perhaps, would be an exaggeration, but, of course, it could become important if Karabakh’s policies changed in a global sense and more serious objectives were set. The real turning point for Karabakh and Armenia could become Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharian’s appointment as Karabakh’s foreign minister. Why not? At present, Karabakh’s independent policies and becoming a party to the negotiations have become a matter of discussion. And Kocharian’s appointment from this point of view would also be symbolic. After all, wasn’t it after his move from Karabakh to Armenia that Karabakh began gradually losing its credentials as a separate party to negotiations until Kocharian himself assumed the function of representing Karabakh [as president of Armenia]?” writes the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” talks to Armenia’s First Lady Rita Sarkisian, who remembers the years of the Karabakh war. She confesses: “That fear is still inside me, it has left a trace. Throughout the war the families of Robert Kocharian, Serzh Sarkisian, [ex-Karabakh leader] Arkady Ghukasian stayed in Karabakh. It was dangerous, but we knew we were role models. When doubts would creep into people’s minds, the onus was on us to disperse them. We would simply take our children and go for a walk outside, risking our lives, only for people to see it and stop thinking about a possible defeat. Of course, it was terrible, enemy fire could start any moment, but people had to see that we, our children were just like them.”
In the interview, Mrs. Sarkisian also denounces divisions according to birthplaces that exist among some Armenians today: “All troubles of our people begin because of this thinking. I love Artsakh [Karabakh], my birthplace, but when I am asked where I am from, I say I am from Armenia. I don’t want my birthplace to become a subject for political speculations.”