"Hayots Ashkhar" alleges instances of vote buying ahead of Sunday's local elections. The paper quotes the incumbent head of Yerevan's Arabkir district, Felix Yayloyan, as saying that his main challenger, Levon Harutiunian, is paying about $10 for a vote in his favor. Harutiunian is the chief of a key department in the city's municipality.
"Orran" has trouble understanding developments in the "complicated and contradictory" opposition camp. "They seem to be against Kocharian…But almost all of them are opposed to each other as well," the paper says, adding that the opposition parties are thereby playing into Kocharian's hands. "With such tactics, they rule out the realization of any strategic goal."
Former Prime Minister Aram Sarkisian, who is now a leader of the opposition Hanrapetutyun party, assures "Aravot" that the opposition will "definitely" put forward a single presidential candidate. "That surprise will render the situation much more dramatic," Sarkisian says. He refuses to elaborate, saying that it is too early for the authorities to know what their opponents are up to. The ex-premier urges the press to stay "a bit patient until the end of November." "I think that people who follow and sympathize with the opposition will have occasions for celebration."
"Haykakan Zhamanak" says further opposition actions will depend on the outcome of Sunday's local elections. Particularly important for the 16-party coalition is the tight race in Yerevan's Kentron district. An unnamed opposition leader is quoted as saying that if opposition candidate Ararat Zurabian beats his government-backed rival "we won't let the authorities recover [from the defeat] and will embark on serious actions in the parliament the next day."
"Iravunk" continues to make the point that some pro-government parties may turn their backs to President Kocharian as a result of the local elections. Even Prime Minister Andranik Markarian's Republicans may suffer a "crushing defeat" at the hands of non-partisan "neighborhood guys" and take out their anger on Kocharian.
In another comment, "Iravunk" contends that the current Armenian leadership is banking on "the Yeltsin family" in its dealings with Russia. The opposition, for its part, is more oriented toward "circles close to [President] Vladimir Putin" or his left-wing opponents. The paper is therefore convinced that Boris Yeltsin's visit to Armenia has serious implications for domestic Armenian politics.