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Press Review


“Yerkir” comments on “deep distrust” between Armenia’s government and opposition ahead of the May parliamentary elections which was noted in an OSCE report released this week. The paper says the OSCE and the Council of Europe are also responsible for that distrust because they stayed silent when the Armenian authorities ignored opposition proposals while amending the Electoral Code in May 2011. “These structures are just as responsible for the quality of the [upcoming] elections as the authorities,” it says.

Smbat Ayvazian, a prominent member of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), assures “168 Zham” that there are no disagreements within the opposition alliance. Ayvazian says at the same time that he believes the HAK “should continue the struggle in the streets” because the upcoming elections will also be rigged. “And yet the HAK thinks that it should also be continued in the parliament,” he says. Ayvazian points to the authorities’ handling of the local election in Hrazdan which the HAK considers fraudulent. “You can now imagine what will happen in the elections of the National Assembly,” he says.

“Armenia is a classical oligarchy and even the oligarchs do not deny that,” writes Lragir.am. “But the fact that they admit the need to break up the oligarchy gives one hope that the rulers will one day appeal to the people. The Republican Party (HHK) is already touring towns and villages and trying to clarify that preoccupies the people.” The online journal also point to two government decisions which it says were made this week under public pressure: the suspension of the construction of kiosks in central Yerevan and the withdrawal of a government bill on emergency rule from the parliament.

“Zhamanak” speculates that the HAK and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) “can be considered pro-Russian forces” now that President Serzh Sarkisian “has started playing the role of a pro-Western figure” in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. The paper says this might explain why HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian expressed readiness to cooperate with the BHK last fall. It says Ter-Petrosian thus implied that his bloc is prepared to be Russia’s “support base” in Armenia.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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