“Zhamanak” hails as “remarkable” the establishment by the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the country’s three main opposition forces of a joint task force that will foster the freedom and fairness of the upcoming parliamentary elections. “Having said that, the task force will have to prove, with concrete action, that it will be having a major impact on ensuring the legitimacy the electoral process,” comments the paper. “That is, the Armenian National Congress (HAK), Dashnaktsutyun, Zharangutyun and the BHK should take practical steps to convince the public in that the opposition does keep the situation under control and will assert the voter’s rights.” The paper says the four political forces might simply be creating a semblance of cooperation in order to placate the public.
“Hayots Ashkhar” is scathing about the development, saying that “the easiest thing is to sign something and the hardest to put it into practice.” The pro-government paper says it is not sure that the signatories themselves will not carry out falsifications to help their candidates, especially in those constituencies where they will be competing against each other. “In that case, whose violations would the joint task force register? Would it turn a blind eye to both [falsifications?] In that case, why should the public accept at face value information reported by the joint task force?”
“Yerkir” reports on a task force set up by state prosecutors to investigate media reports of election-related violations. The paper is skeptical about its activities. “One could believe in the prosecutors’ sudden concerns with pleasure if there wasn’t one minor detail,” it writes, pointing to law-enforcement authorities’ failure to react to the already numerous media reports about voter list manipulation. “By playing consistency does the prosecutor’s office deceive itself or wants to mislead the public?” it says.
Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Azg” that the HHK is not worried about being the main target of attacks by virtually all other election contenders. “There will be propaganda against us but it will only strengthen us,” he says.
“168 Zham” comments on Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s remark that Armenia is ready to consider hosting a Russian radar station if Russia comes up with such a proposal. The paper speculates that the statement was engineered by the Kremlin, arguing that Sarkisian was interviewed by the Moscow daily “Kommersant” on the day that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov negotiated with Azerbaijani leaders the renewal of Russia’s lease on the Gabala radar station. It says the Russians “instructed” Sarkisian to make such a statement to use it as a bargaining chip in the talks with Baku.