“Zhamanak” ridicules the ruling Republican Party’s calls for the Armenian opposition not to “politicize” the upcoming municipal elections in Yerevan, saying that they expose its “obvious problems with common sense.” The paper argues that under a law on local government passed by the HHK-controlled parliament, Yerevan’s Council of Elders is elected only on the party list basis. “The thing is that parties and blocs are political entities, and even if their electoral lists comprise only opera singers or whole dance ensembles or sport team they will still be political because they will carry the names of political entities,” it says.
“Aravot” is disappointed with the fact that much of the election-related discourse in Armenia is about justifying possible post-election protests by the opposition, rather than the mayoral race itself. “Hence, hidden and overt pledges to destroy each other,” editorializes the paper.
“We hope that the opposition will fight peacefully,” John Heffern, the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, tells “168 Zham” in reference to the May 5 elections. “We hope that the ruling party and all other parties will refrain from buying votes and abusing administrative resources. We hope that the elections will be free and fair and that Yerevan residents will be able to elect the municipal council that will then choose a mayor in a way beneficial to everyone. I hope this is what will happen.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the authorities are attributing the sacking of Yerevan police chief Nerses Nazarian to his involvement in business activities. “This explanation is sensational primarily in the sense that Nerses Nazarian, as Serzh Sarkisian would put it, was fine on paper: his businesses were registered in others’ names,” says the pro-opposition paper. “For instance, the Moskvichka [supermarket] chain on paper belongs to his son. But obviously Nazarian will not sue [Armenian police chief] Vova Gasparian or make any fuss about that. Such things are not acceptable in those circles. On the other hand, if Vova Gasparian decides to fire all those senior police officers that combine their service with business no officers with a rank higher than that of captain will be left in the police very soon.”