“At the moment no political force or candidate is as interested in the calm and civilized conduct of the pre-election campaign as the government and its candidate,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Therefore they will do everything to honor the rules of the game and avoid foul play. Conversely, those opposition presidential candidates who have no chance to win a civilized electoral struggle will try to resort to non-traditional steps.” The paper points to Ter-Petrosian’s “aggressive” campaign tactic.
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Ter-Petrosian’s campaign manager, Aleksandr Arzumanian, claims that Armenian state television delayed the broadcasting of campaign adverts by two days for political reasons. But officials at state TV deny this and cite a decision made by the Central Election Commission.
“Aravot” reports that a senior member of the governing Republican Party (HHK) has hit out at Dashnaktsutyun’s presidential candidate Vahan Hovannisian for suggesting that the HHK “should think about becoming opposition.” “I want to remind Mr. Hovannisian, whom I respect a lot, of Armenia’s constitution, according to which the parliamentary majority can not be in opposition,” says Armen Ashotian. “Proposing such a thing to us is at least inadmissible.”
“Azg” reports and comments on opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian’s decision not to endorse any of Prime Minister Sarkisian’s four main challengers. “With such statements the Zharangutyun party is trying to fudge the question of whom it will be supporting in these elections,” says the paper. “It is evident that before the second round [of voting,] if it really happens, Zharangutyun will not join any candidate and will make more and more demands instead.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that local authorities in Yerevan’s Shengavit district have begun collecting the passports of local residents as part of their efforts to ensure Sarkisian’s victory in the area. The paper says local residents are offered 5,000 drams ($16) in return.