“On the evening of May 6 the [ruling] HHK will say that the elections have been unprecedentedly democratic and transparent, while the [opposition] HAK will say that these are the most disgraceful elections in the history of the Third Republic and that if the people don’t rise up Armenia will be erased from the world map,” predicts “Aravot.” “These two extreme evaluations have nothing to do with reality. We are as far away from democracy as from being erased from the world map.”
“Zhoghovurd” carries an interview with Aram Karapetian, the leader of a small opposition party that is not participating in the parliamentary elections. Karapetian says Armenian politics is now being turned into a largely two-party system dominated by President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian. He says that by pushing the allegedly Kocharian-linked Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) closer to the opposition Sarkisian will steal many votes from the opposition before striking a new coalition deal with the BHK.
“Zhamanak” comments on Kocharian’s latest interview with the Mediamax news agency in an editorial. “Kocharian in no way mentioned the factor of Levon Ter-Petrosian and the Armenian National Congress (HAK), thereby effectively following the rules by which the BHK, the HAK and Dashnaktsutyun are now playing with each other,” writes the paper. “In other words, Kocharian thus demonstrated that either he is involved in that game or he is the one who developed those rules.” The paper says Kocharian’s remarks offered further proof of his close ties with the BHK.
Hovik Abrahamian, the HHK’s election campaign manager, tells “Iravunk” that the BHK would hardly enter into a coalition agreement with Ter-Petrosian’s bloc. Nor is the HHK likely to cut a power-sharing deal with the opposition Zharangutyun party, he says. Abrahamian also agrees that the HHK and the BHK are the main election contenders. “The HHK is fighting to preserve its first place, while the BHK is fighting to preserve its second place,” he explains.
“Yerkir” says President Sarkisian’s decision to order the dismantling of kiosks in a Yerevan park was a “victory” for the Armenian environmental movement and city residents in general, even if electoral considerations were behind it. “No matter what they say, the authorities have thus proved that an illegal practice took place [in Mashtots Park,]” says the paper. “This was also a very good lesson for the mayor, and from now on he will have to reckon with both possible public resentment and the fact that his immediate boss may all of a sudden not like his urban development taste … when finding even temporary solutions to municipal and urban development issues,” it says.