“The biggest crime against a nation is to strip it of the electoral rights and offer it elections without alternatives,” “Hraparak” writes in a scathing attack on the government. The paper also blasts those opposition or independent candidates that withdraw from elections under alleged government pressure. “It’s hard to tell whether a group of oppressors is more dangerous than coward conformists. In any case, until we get rid of these two groups we cannot even dream about free elections,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party has put a motion to enable Armenian citizens living abroad to vote in Armenian elections outside the country. The party’s deputy chairman, Armen Martirosian, is quoted as arguing that Armenian diplomats and employees of Armenian firms registered abroad are currently allowed to vote at Armenia’s diplomatic missions abroad. “This approach is illogical, to say the least,” he says.
Karine Achemian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Zhoghovurd” that the scale of poverty in the country is often exaggerated by government critics. “True, there is poverty,” he says. “We don’t deny that. And of course, the government is responsible for addressing those problems. But a lot of work is being done, and if you look at the latest economic indicators … you will understand that it is wrong to cite such huge figures.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that Gyumri’s outgoing Mayor Vartan Ghukasian and his family are finally facing a government crackdown not because of their notorious conduct but because he failed to earn the HHK enough votes in Armenia’s second city in the May 6 parliamentary elections. The pro-opposition paper claims that local government bosses in Armenia are free to do anything so long as they ensure the ruling party’s electoral victories in their fiefdoms.