“Yerkir” dismisses as a “lie” government arguments that the abolition of elections held in single-seat constituencies would make it impossible for non-partisan Armenians to run for parliament. The paper argues that elections held on an individual basis have never been won by ordinary citizens. They are usually swept by rich people close to the government.
But as parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan tells “Aravot,” nobody and nothing prevents opposition parties from fielding candidates in those electoral districts. He says the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) should not be faulted for “actively” fighting for those parliament seats. Nikoyan also claims that the opposition is demanding the electoral reform only for propaganda purposes.
“Zhamanak” says one reason why the HHK leaders are supremely confident about winning the May elections is that the Armenian opposition is not united. The paper says the fragmented opposition is easier to control for the authorities. It says the authorities will face a major “emergency” if opposition forces decide to coordinate their actions. The authorities will therefore do everything, including with their “financial and economic means,” to prevent opposition consolidation, concludes “Zhamanak.”
Grigor Harutiunian, a senior member of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Irates de facto” that the authorities have still not demonstrated a political will to make the parliamentary elections free and fair. Harutiunian says next month’s mayoral election in Hrazdan will put their declared commitment to democratization to the test. “This local election held before the general elections will make something clear,” he says. “Do the authorities have the right to speak of fair elections? No. They have not earned that moral right. They themselves rigged elections.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the father of Gevorg Mherian, a deputy chief of the Armenian police murdered in 2009, claimed on Monday to have found his son’s assassin. Petros Mherian is quoted as saying that the culprit is now serving a prison sentence for another crime. “The perpetrator will get the punishment he deserves. But I am concerned with those who took my son’s life, who organized [the murder.] I know why the murderer is in jail for another crime and who made sure that he went to prison for another crime.” “I want to get the people who know all this but keep silent,” Petros Mherian adds, refusing to name them.