“Ayb-Fe” says that the OSCE’s final report on the Armenian presidential election is a long list of rebukes to the authorities. The only positive thing mentioned by the OSCE with regard to the March 5 run-off vote is the televised debate between Robert Kocharian and Stepan Demirchian. “So Stepan Demirchian did a favor to the Armenian authorities,” the paper notes with irony.
“Aravot” says the language of the OSCE report can be used for “speaking to criminals.” The report is full of details of “criminal acts” committed at specific polling stations. “What is, after all, the way to punish this widespread fraud?” the paper asks and gives the following answer: “Of course, the one which Lord Russell-Johnston mentioned in his report to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: to challenge the results of the presidential elections in the European Court for Human Rights.”
The government-funded newspaper “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun,” meanwhile, speaks of the need for a “sanitary cleaning of the political landscape.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that many political parties supporting Kocharian are now resorting to traditional opposition rhetoric in a bid to win votes in the May 25 elections. It is now hard to tell them from the opposition which the paper says has toned down its verbal attacks on the regime. The paper finds this situation very confusing.
A leading member of the opposition Artarutyun alliance tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that it is seeking to win at least one third of the parliament seats which would allow it to appeal to the Constitutional Court and convene extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly. Stepan Zakarian says Artarutyun’s “maximum program” is to grab an outright majority in the parliament. “Rest assured that we will achieve regime change before the current non-elected president serves half of his term,” Zakarian says.
The authorities’ refusal to register about a dozen opposition candidates is turning the election campaign into a “buffoonery,” writes the Dashnaktsutyun newspaper “Yerkir.” Commenting on opposition leader Aram Karapetian’s disqualification from the elections, the paper says state prosecutors must launch criminal proceedings against the Central Election Commission or those police officials who had previously certified that Karapetian lived in Armenia for the past ten years. One of them committed an “illegality,” according to “Yerkir.”
Even “Golos Armenii” is unhappy with the way Karapetian was kicked out of the race. “Who is to bear responsibility for this string of endless stupidities and illegalities which discredit our country?” it asks. The paper says the authorities should identify and punish the guilty.