“The mayoral elections in Hrazdan exposed the model which the authorities have chosen for ensuring their victory in the forthcoming parliamentary elections,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “There will be no ballot stuffing, there will be no violence in polling stations, and the ruling parties will try to avoid all kinds of unpleasant incidents … According that model, bribing voters will play the decisive role. True, that has been done ever since 1995, but the scale of the practice will be spectacular this time around. There is a fertile ground for this [electoral] technology because the dominant mood in our society is that this country will not be sorted out.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that just because vote buying was widespread in Hrazdan does not mean that most Armenians are now more corrupt than ever before. The opposition argues that the country simply has no tradition of democratic election. “When was the right to vote a sacred thing for us? Have we regressed in this regard?” it asks.
“Hraparak” claims that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) would easily defeat President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) in a fair contest but is ready to see its votes stolen by the latter. The paper says the BHK is also willing to steal votes from the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and other opposition forces.
“Yerkir” describes as “absurd” the HHK’s, the BHK’s and the Orinats Yerkir Party’s pledges to contest the May parliamentary elections in an “atmosphere of mutual atmosphere.” “It’s like a doctor saying that he will not intend to kill a patient,” says the paper. “If the authorities see a need to agree even on such textbook truths one can conclude what great achievements the Armenian political thought in the last few years. But if they are so honest why do they agree with each other and for each other despite the fact that there are also other forces participating in the elections on an equal footing?”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Artak Zakarian, an HHK deputy, rejects the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party’s claims that the ruling party is unfit to join the European People’s Party (EPP) because it is not committed to the European value system. “Zharangutyun has chosen a wrong tactic which will not increase that party’s role and significance as a new member of the EPP,” he says.