(Saturday, April 7)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” rationalizes media speculation surrounding the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party and its participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections. “One may wonder why we attach so much importance to Zharangutyun,” writes the paper sympathetic to another opposition force, the Armenian National Congress (HAK). “Because things are clear in the case of other [election contenders.] The HAK is trying to carry out regime change, whether or not it will succeed is a different question. Serzh Sarkisian is trying to retain power. Prosperous Armenia is trying to retain its independence, while Dashnaktsutyun is trying to restore its erstwhile opposition image.”
“But what does [Zharangutyun leader] Raffi Hovannisian think?” asks “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “He is doing what he always did. For five years, he has acted like a tough parliamentary opposition but is now effectively removing from [Zharangutyun’s] electoral list all those loyalists who enabled him to act like that in the first place. Then he draws up the list comprising individuals that are totally unknown to the public but well known to the presidential administration.”
In an interview with “168 Zham”, parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan defends the ruling Republican Party’s decision not to join a multi-party anti-fraud center set up by four other major political forces. Nikoyan dismisses that initiative as a publicity stunt, saying that the HHK’s rivals should instead accept “concrete work” on the freedom and fairness of the May 6 elections proposed by the ruling party.
“Yerkir” comments on agriculture minister and Orinats Yerkir Party member Sergo Karapetian’s extraordinary calls for university students to vote for the HHK, rather than Orinats Yerkir, in the elections. The paper points out that Karapetian made the call before the official start of the election campaign and did so during work hours, thus breaking the Electoral Code.
“What the people expect is not a change of figures but a change of course,” Lyudmila Harutiunian, a prominent sociologist, tells “Zhamanak.” “For a change of figures won’t make a difference if those new figures don’t bring a new ideology, if they don’t propose the sole way of solving problems.” Therefore, she says, the May 6 vote will only be an “ordinary election” in the eyes of most Armenians.