(Saturday, April 14)
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the ongoing parliamentary election campaign has not yet had a noticeable impact on the political situation and public mood in Armenia. “In order to deeply understand reasons for this reality, it is not enough to point to the people’s fatigue and resulting indifference,” writes the paper. “There is a second, no less important reason for this. In order to again make a tired and bored society an active participant of political processes the nine political forces contesting the parliamentary elections should have come up with something new, fresh or even extraordinary right from the start of the campaign.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees growing confusion on the Armenian political scene. “Really bizarre things are happening,” says the paper. “For instance, the opposition forces decide to form a joint task force to fight against vote rigging, a member of the ruling coalition, the BHK, joins in that initiative and immediately after that the opposition Zharangutyun party steps back, citing technicalities.” The paper also points to President Serzh Sarkisian’s endorsement of a Dashnaktsutyun-backed candidate running in a single-mandate constituency in southern Armenia. “The reason for these strange things is that there is much more to the upcoming elections than a struggle among political forces,” it says. “This is a fight between human types and people readily classify themselves along the lines of their goals.”
“Yerkir” attacks the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) for advancing the notion that the opposition contenders are fighting for a limited number of votes of citizens unhappy with the government. “The implication is that they [the authorities] are the masters of the rest of the electorate,” explains the paper. This is not true, it says, because most Armenians cannot be satisfied with the results of the government’s policies.
“168 Zham” dismisses a police announcement that about 3,000 persons have been removed from Armenia’s allegedly inflated voter lists. Hovannes Kocharian, head of the police Department on Passports and Visas, is quoted as saying that another 2,000 voters will be removed from the rolls before election day. The paper counters that the official number of eligible voters will still be significantly higher than it was in 2008.
“Zhamanak” is concerned about the creation by the Russian parliament of an ad hoc commission tasked with scrutinizing anti-government “color revolutions” across the former Soviet Union. “This is yet another message by [Vladimir] Putin’s Russia to post-Soviet countries which clearly shows that Putin does not intend to tolerate a change of political status quo and civic victory in those countries,” speculates the paper.