“Yerkir” says that the electoral defeat of the mayor of Ijevan, a town in northern Armenia, is “no tragedy” for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “Especially considering the fact that the party did virtually nothing for the victory for its candidate, the incumbent Mayor Varuzhan Nersisian, which can only mean that the outcome of those elections had no serious political significance for the HHK,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, it is possible that the party simply sacrificed those elections.” The paper suggests that by allowing another candidate to win the weekend vote the Armenian government hopes to demonstrate that it is serious about holding democratic parliamentary elections next year.
“Hayots Ashkhar” disagrees with those who have looked at the Ijevan election through the prism of the alleged rivalry between the HHK and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The paper also points to reports that the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and other opposition forces covertly supported the BHK candidate in Ijevan. It wonders why the opposition did not field its own candidates there. The HAK simply lacks “worthy” candidates even for local elections, concludes the paper.
“Zhamanak” says it is possible that the leaderships of both the HHK and the BHK initially avoided any active involvement in the Ijevan mayoral race to see how strong and independent their regional branches are. “But seeing that the situation is getting out of hand at a particular moment the upper echelons had to intervene,” speculates the paper. It says BHK intervention in the election was much stronger. The Republicans, it says, may have decided to see just how strong Gagik Tsarukian and his entourage can be in contesting elections.
“Hraparak” reports on the alleged assault by the controversial governor of Syunik province, Surik Khachatrian, on a businesswoman who publicly accused him of fraud last week. “Only a weak and worthless man can raise a hand against a woman,” comments the paper. “Only a wretched and miserable regime can tolerate such characters within its ranks. A regime pinning hopes on the likes of [Khachatrian] is a priori defeated because no service [rendered to it,] no amount of votes can compensate for the damage which the likes of him inflict on the HHK and a president tolerating them.”