(Saturday, February 23)
“An election must be such that voters believe and trust in its results and be convinced that their votes were properly counted,” writes “Hraparak.” “The post-election movement unfolding all over the country testifies to one thing: the society does not trust [official] election results just as it did not trust in 2008, 2003, 1998 and 1996. Even individuals in the government have no clear idea of how many votes their candidate got. Those who voted for Raffi Hovannisian too cannot be certain that their candidate got elected.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on Hovannisian’s rally held in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Friday. The paper wonders why “the defeated presidential candidate” waited for the rally to give details of his meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian held on Thursday. It suggests that few people would have gathered in the square had he “disclosed the secret” the previous day.
“Raffi Hovannisian may fail to effect regime change in Armenia but there is no doubt that he carried out an opposition revolution with yesterday’s rally in Liberty Square,” writes “168 Zham.” The paper says that with their presence at the rally leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and several prominent former members of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) recognized him as the undisputed opposition leader. It says there will be more such recognitions during further rallies to be held by the leader of the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party. This heralds the end of a five-year “monopoly” on opposition politics enjoyed by the HAK and its leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian, concludes “168 Zham.”
“Zhamanak” says it is the first time that an Armenian opposition leader is planning to hold nationwide rallies after an election. Opposition leaders have until now tried to have their provincial supporters converge on Yerevan. Time will tell how effective Hovannisian’s tactic is, the paper says.