“Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian told voters in Yerevan’s Shengavit district on Thursday that his administration has boosted Armenia’s international reputation in the last several years. “In fact, these words have very little to do with reality because the international and general reputation of any country starts from its own citizens,” comments the paper. “That is, a country must be authoritative for its citizens before it can have a good reputation in the international arena. And for the average citizen of the Republic of Armenia, Armenia has not only failed to become an authoritative and attractive state but has even started looking less attractive during Serzh Sarkisian’s tenure.”
“Aravot” says that attendance at campaign rallies held by pro-government parties in Armenian regions is high because the authorities have the administrative and financial resources to make people participate in those gatherings. The paper dismisses opposition claims that pre-election meetings organized by opposition parties attract fewer people because of an “atmosphere of fear.” It argues that opposition rallies were bigger in 2007 and 2008 and goes on to suggest that Armenians do not attach as much importance to parliamentary elections as they do to presidential ones. “Our people believe that everything is decided by the ‘king,’” concludes “Aravot.”
“Hraparak” says the opposition is failing to generate popular enthusiasm for its election campaign because it was “passive” for too long and stepped up political activities only during the election period. “They just had no time to gather momentum,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” slams opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian for alleging an “atmosphere of fear” in the country in his campaign speeches and blaming it for the poor attendance of his rallies. It cites Ter-Petrosian as saying that his Armenian National Congress’s chief objective now is to turn things around and make sure that the ruling “thieves and crooks” are afraid of the electorate. “Ter-Petrosian is thus making unsuccessful attempts to buoy the ‘scared’ people while forgetting that he engaged in dialogue with the ‘thieves and crook’ with great pleasure just a few months ago,” says the pro-government paper.