“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the fact that the official results of virtually all presidential elections held in Armenia were disputed by opposition candidates at the Constitutional Court only demonstrates that they were not free and fair. Nevertheless, none of those elections was invalidated by the court. “This means that this structure has been a servant of the reproduced government system,” claims the paper. “And this is probably the reason why nobody in and outside Armenia expects to be surprised by today’s decision of the Constitutional Court.”
Karapet Rubinian, an opposition politician, tells “Hraparak” that President Serzh Sarkisian would resign only under “popular pressure.” He says the Armenian opposition led by presidential candidate Raffi Hovannisian now needs to “take steps to have conscious citizens of Armenia rise up” and exert the kind of pressure on the authorities that would make them realize that “they are unable to govern the country.”
Aghvan Vartanian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “168 Zham” that with his continuing hunger strike Hovannisian set the bar so high that things have moved “from the political to moral and spiritual plane.” This is putting everyone in a “very difficult situation,” says Vartanian. “If Raffi Hovannisian is indeed ready to take an extreme step that could create an unpredictable situation in Armenia,” he adds.
“Hayots Ashkhar” expresses a different opinion in an editorial. The pro-government paper is scathing about Hovannisian’s hunger strike, saying that his daily news conferences in Liberty Square have become “dull shows.” “Every day journalists ask him the same question and get the same answers: ‘The big powers must not teach us lessons. I am ready to receive Levon Ter-Petrosian. I am open to discussing issues with all political forces. This is not Raffi’s or Serzh’s political struggle. This is the people’s struggle,’” it says. The pro-presidential paper believes that Hovannisian’s post-election campaign has reached an impasse, shrugging off his allies’ claims that it represents a big headache for the authorities.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” quotes Levon Zurabian, a leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), as saying that the opposition alliance looks forward to participating in the May 5 municipal elections in Yerevan. Zurabian says the HAK regards the elections as “a serious chance for a breakthrough.”