“168 Zham” comments on Monday’s joint statement by opposition presidential candidates Hrant Bagratian, Raffi Hovannisian and Paruyr Hayrikian, saying that the very fact of its release is quite significant. The paper suggests that this could create a “theoretical possibility of their joint actions before the presidential election.” “The question is whether those candidates can objectively evaluate their chances and withdraw their candidacies in favor of one of them,” it says. “That too is extremely difficult. Almost as difficult as forcing the authorities to hold a second round [of voting] in case of acting jointly.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Bagratian is trying to woo voters with claims that he was “the father of our best economic reforms” and even played a key role in the Armenian victory in the Karabakh war. The paper claims that most Armenians and rural residents in particular are very unhappy with the results of those reforms. It says Bagratian is using the 2013 presidential race to “get rid of that heavy burden.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that President Serzh Sarkisian’s election manifesto titled “Towards A Secure Armenia” says nothing about how he wants to stop emigration from the country. “It does not even contain the word emigration,” writes the paper. “Instead, it devotes a whole chapter to the Diaspora, stressing the need to work out new formats of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation.” The paper points out that Sarkisian’s 2008 campaign platform listed government measures to stop the outflow of the population from border towns and villages.