“The so-called legal ways of disputing the election results seem to have been exhausted,” “Zhamanak” says in a commentary on Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling that rejected appeals lodged by opposition presidential candidates Raffi Hovannisian and Andreas Ghukasian. “So in effect Raffi Hovannisian has been left with only a political way [of struggle.]” But the paper says it is not yet clear what he can do apart from his hunger strike which “has clearly created an uncomfortable situation for the authorities.” “It is evident that the Constitutional Court ruling not only failed to resolve the situation but perhaps also made the political problem more vivid,” concludes “Zhamanak.”
“Even the most ardent opposition supporters admit that factual evidence submitted by Raffi Hovannisian’s representatives to the Constitutional Court was not sufficient,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “No less vulnerable was the fact that only one of Hovannisian’s 1,009 proxies had a dissenting opinion [on vote protocols] and that all precinct commission members [representing Hovannisian] signed the protocols … But that is probably not important because even if they had presented totally convincing evidence of fraud the Constitutional Court would have undoubtedly handed down a ruling ordered by the authorities.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” scoffs at statements in support of Hovannisian made by some Armenian livings abroad or some Diaspora groups. “The more the process drags on the stronger the impression that we are dealing with the manifestation of a concrete PR technique and a well-organized phenomenon which are pursuing several simultaneous goals,” claims the paper. “One of those goals is to show the public that ‘look, we are also getting support from abroad,’ ‘the Diaspora is with us,’ or something along those lines.” The paper believes that such statements must not be portrayed as views of the entire Diaspora.
“Aravot” reports that Vartan Petrosian, a Paris-based Armenian actor supporting Hovannisian, was not allowed to meet with students at the French University in Armenia on Thursday. In a separate development, Ararat Mirzoyan, a young lecturer at Yerevan State University (YSU) who has voiced solidarity with the opposition, was effectively fired by the YSU administration. The paper says the latter development highlights tight control over YSU enjoyed by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).