Tigran Torosian, the deputy speaker of the parliament and a leader of the governing Republican Party (HHK), continues to blast the U.S. and other Western powers for their strong criticism of the Armenian presidential election. “It is obvious that the United States sought to solve some issues by means of the OSCE,” Torosian tells “Aravot.” “In their report, the OSCE and Council of Europe trespassed the limits of their responsibility…Let us not forget that the first and second World Wars broke out in Europe; let us not forget that Nazism and Fascism were born there and caused great misfortune to many countries.”
“Aravot” also quotes the head of OSCE observers, Peter Eicher, as disagreeing with Robert Kocharian in that they should not use the same yardstick in judging elections in Armenia and Western European nations. “Armenia is a full member of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which is bound by specific commitments to those institutions,” Eicher says. “I think that the Armenian people would not like to fit into lower standards.”
Armenia, “Aravot” editorializes, has failed to honor its most important international obligation: to hold free and fair elections. “Armenia’s leadership is not going to meet that commitment during the parliamentary elections as well,” the paper writes. “Everything is clear. The undemocratically elected president will have to resort to greater fraud and do everything to make sure that the opposition does not win a majority in the parliament.” “Aravot” claims that Kocharian is ready to do that even at the cost of Armenia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe.
Opposition leader Artashes Geghamian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Stepan Demirchian’s electoral defeat vindicated his calls for a boycott of the presidential run-off. “As a result of these elections, there is a deep nationwide split in Armenia,” Geghamian says. He continues to believe that a regime change is the only way to “save the country.” Armenians, Geghamian says, “will not calm down” until they see that their constitutionally guaranteed right to elect and change their government is respected.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the “radical” opposition parties will fail to reach agreement on their single electoral slate for the next parliamentary elections and their alliance built around Demirchian will collapse. The paper claims that the Hanrapetutyun party of former Prime Minister Aram Sarkisian has staked a claim to a “lion’s share” of the list. But it says many members of Demirchian’s People’s Party are unhappy with that.