“Aravot” disagrees with those who believe that the presidential election campaign in Armenia is taking place in an uncompetitive and apathetic environment. “It is also not true that there is an atmosphere of fear in Armenia,” editorializes the paper. “Look at video of pre-election rallies. The phase of fear is a thing of the past in our country, hopefully irreversibly.”
“Zhoghovurd” complains that none of the presidential candidates has spoken about solving the October 1999 killings in the Armenian parliament. The paper points out that the main opposition candidates in the 2003 and 2008 presidential elections “promised to make sure that that crime is solved in full.” It also says that one candidate in the 2013 election, Raffi Hovannisian, has pledged to address the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan.
Hrant Bagratian, another opposition candidate, assures “Hraparak” that he owns no businesses and he never lacked money. “I have publicly reported that I have earned $2.7 million,” he says. “Unfortunately, my money has decreased since I became a parliament deputy.” Bagratian adds that he was able to legally earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per annum a year until then.
Arsen Hambardzumian, a senior representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Zhamanak” that his opposition party is not supporting Bagratian’s and Hovannisian’s presidential bids because none of them stands a chance of defeating President Serzh Sarkisian. “One specificity of the presidential elections is that you either win or lose,” he says. “And it doesn’t matter if you get 10 percent or 30 percent of the vote.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on the opening of an “educational and research center” of the Armenian Central Bank in the resort town of Dilijan. The paper says that very few media outlets were allowed to cover the inauguration of the $70 million building attended by President Sarkisian this week. “The thing is that the construction of that center was one of the shadiest deals of recent years,” it claims. “The Central Bank simply does not want to publicize the fact that more than $70 million has been spent on its construction. They started allocating the funding in 2009, the peak of the economic crisis.”