“Hayots Ashkhar” laments “clearly indifferent” public attitudes to the political significance of May Day, a public holiday in Armenia. “As always, May Day will be marked today by the Communists who have turned the non-Soviet holiday into a day of solidarity of veterans remembering their past years,” editorializes the paper. “And yet May Day is not a nostalgic tradition of refreshing the memory of older generations that used to live under the totalitarian system but a holiday devoted to worker solidarity around the world.”
“Zhoghovurd” says none of the parties participating in Armenia’s parliamentary elections has come up with “new concepts and credible programs on issues of strategic importance to the country” during the election campaign. “There have been mere promises,” complains the paper.
“Zhamanak” says that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian has voiced support for the idea of a Russian-led Eurasian Union of former Soviet republics floated by President-elect Vladimir Putin last year. The paper claims that the BHK has embarked on a campaign aimed at drumming up popular support in Armenia for that idea and received a message of support from Putin in return. It says Tsarukian and his party are now keen to create an illusion of Russian support enjoyed by them.
“Yerkir” accuses the authorities of bullying people and buying their votes in order to win the elections. The paper says this is having an impact on a large part of the population mainly because “people feel lonely and unprotected.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Constitutional Court will decide on Saturday whether election commissions must release lists of voters who will cast ballots the next day. The court will rule on a joint appeal lodged by the Armenian National Congress, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the BHK. The pro-opposition paper echoes opposition claims that a legal ban on the publication of those lists is what has allowed the authorities to rig elections since 2003. “With the signed list remaining confidential, nobody can prove that a deputy or the president of the republic were elected by the people, that all ballots were cast by voters, rather than some falsifiers or mercenaries brought from abroad,” it says.