Armenian newspapers supporting the opposition are full of reports of irregularities registered during Wednesday’s voting. Although most of them went to press before the publication of first official vote results, they already conclude that the balloting was fraudulent.
“The course of the second round of the presidential elections shows that democratic values are not worth a penny in Armenia,” editorializes a disappointed “Aravot.” The paper says that the government-sponsored “mob” that allegedly stuffed thousands of ballots and terrorized opposition proxies is becoming the real master of Armenia. “Robert Kocharian is apparently in delusion, thinking that he maintained power. In reality, he finally handed over that power to those who ensured the mass falsifications. He owes his illusory power not to the people who did not elect him, not to the parties supporting him…and even not to security structures…He owes his ‘reelection’ to the mob.” Kocharian will be a “weak president,” the paper concludes.
“The holding of the March 5 election was just aimed at formalizing Robert Kocharian’s hold on power at any cost,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “It is evident that the authorities are not willing to take note of registered irregularities, illegalities and fraud.”
According to “Orran,” Armenia fell on Wednesday into the hands of a “hopelessly stupid and unbelievably mean force.” “With such methods the authorities are trying to decide the fate of the people whom they stripped of freedom to express their will; the people who are today hugely disappointed with them. No nation has tolerated such a regime so far.” The paper says the authorities will not get away with fraud.
The pro-presidential “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” and “Azg” paint a totally different picture of calm, well-administered elections not marred by irregularities. “Hayots Ashkhar” does see “falsifications,” “violence” and “dirty tricks” but blames them exclusively on the opposition. The paper says the opposition is crying foul to justify its crushing defeat.