“Hraparak” says the Armenian authorities are waiting to see what the ongoing demonstrations organized by Raffi Hovannisian will lead to. The paper says that they have so far tried to counter the opposition movement only with the publication of congratulatory letters to President Serzh Sarkisian sent by foreign leaders, which is meant to show opposition members that their “struggle is futile.” “But our people have already shown before that such calls do not influence them,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” wonders what evidence of election fraud the Hovannisian campaign will present to the Constitutional Court after demanding ballot recounts only in a handful of polling stations. The pro-government paper suggests that either it does not consider more large-scale recounts important or simply realizes that they would not significantly change election results.
“Aravot” says that Hovannisian should have had proxies in all 1,988 polling stations on election day. “Those proxies would have been able to not only monitor the elections but also demand recounts,” writes the paper. “Even if those demands were rejected they would have strengthened their candidate’s legal positions.” The paper says the two other opposition groups, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), should have appointed “trustworthy members” in all precinct election commissions.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the February 18 vote proved that changing government in Armenia is impossible through elections. “In fact, the people did not win, they simply revolted and thereby gave Raffi Hovannisian a chance to win,” writes the pro-opposition daily. “There is a very big difference between a revolt and a victory.”
“Zhamanak” says Hovannisian’s relatively strong performance and, in particular, his victory in many cities and towns could result in major staff changes in the government. The paper says those opposition victories could be sufficient grounds for punishing “local or clan figures.” “In effect, they botched the government candidate’s campaign and elections,” it says.