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Press Review


“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Andreas Ghukasian is currently the only Armenian presidential candidate who “at least theoretically correctly defines the main problem” in the race. “Unlike other candidates, Ghukasian is not saying that he has good programs, espouses a particular ideology and in general is a very worthy individual in a situation where it is clear to everyone that even the best programs, ideas and individuals mean nothing when the electoral mechanism does not work,” writes the paper. “Ghukasian is raising the issue of the election mechanism: the elections are rigged, the main falsifying force is taking part in them, while international observers … are legitimizing fraud.”

“Zhamanak” says that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) was dealt “yet another blow” when one of its senior members, Gyumri Mayor Samvel Balasanian, voiced support for President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection. The paper believes that Balasanian’s move contradicts the party’s decision not to support any presidential candidate. “Such a thing is probably possible only in the BHK,” it says. “Samvel Balasanian’s example exposes the absence of political seriousness in a party that finished second in Armenia’s [2012] parliamentary elections.”

Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov criticizes election observers from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for expressing serious concern over the pre-election situation in Armenia. Sharmazanov says he is particularly worried about their argument that the BHK, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) chose not to field presidential candidates. “[HAK leader] Levon Ter-Petrosian did not say that he was forced not to run for president,” he says. “Besides, can you pressure Ter-Petrosian? The BHK chairman [Gagik Tsarukian] likewise never spoke about his nomination.”

“Hraparak” reports on discord with the HAK, saying that Ter-Petrosian aides are trying to squeeze dissident figures out of the opposition bloc and turn it into a political party under a scenario written in Moscow. The paper claims that they will then merge with the BHK. It says that Nikol Pashinian, Petros Makeyan and other HAK members disagreeing with Ter-Petrosian make the realization of this plan difficult with their reluctance to quit the bloc.

Serob Bozoyan, the man controversially convicted in the explosion of balloons at President Sarkisian’s May 2012 campaign rally in Yerevan, tells “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” that the ruling Republican Party (HHK) has not contributed any funds for his forthcoming cancer surgery. He says he has instead been helped financially by journalists and non-governmental organizations.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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