“Hraparak” wonders if the Armenian parties participating in the parliamentary elections can actually influence voters’ choices during the election campaign. “Are there undecided voters who do not know whom to vote for and have waited for this campaign propaganda?” asks the paper. “If believe some pollsters, a huge segment of the society, more than 30 percent [of the electorate,] does not know yet whom it will be voting for. That’s certainly so not because people are undecided or because unknown forces are in the running and the voters need to get to know them. The thing is that none of the forces on the political arena satisfies the people.”
“Aravot” notes that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and its main coalition partner, Prosperous Armenia (BHK), are reluctant to have pre-election debates with other election contenders. “In their absence, debates are not that interesting because the other [forces] act like accusers but there is no defending side,” writes the paper.
“168 Zham” says both the pro-government and opposition forces were for months saying that the May 6 elections will be fateful for Armenia. “This suggested that everyone will be preparing for the elections with an equally unprecedented style, energy, professionalism and with a totally different culture of talking to and engaging in dialogue with the voter,” writes the paper. “However, campaign advertisements of all parties broadcast on the inertia-driven continuations of Armenia’s grim, reactionary and desperate course.”
“Zhamanak” expects vote bribes to be one of the main pre-election “techniques,” pointing to the difficult socioeconomic plight of many Armenians. “We can conclude that this technique is likely to work quite effectively,” says the paper. It is skeptical about the impact of opposition appeals to voters not to sell their votes and claims that authorities plan to combine large-scale vote buying with forgery of passports needed for casting a ballot. “The opposition has one month to change the situation,” concludes “Zhamanak.”