“Aravot” says Russia has made it clear that it supports Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian in the Armenian presidential election. The paper says one of the reasons for that is that the Armenian and Russian authorities are bound by many ties that are not necessarily legal. It says Moscow is opposed to regime change in Yerevan also because it is interested in “dragging out the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” and hampering the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.
“Generally speaking, it is unfortunate and humiliating for our people that support voiced by representatives of any [foreign] country is an important argument in the pre-election struggle,” editorializes “Aravot.” “But the fact remains that it matters to Armenia’s voters which candidate gets whose go-ahead.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says “all pollsters” are predicting that Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian will not need a second round of voting to become Armenia’s next president. The pro-government paper says the outcome of the election is therefore a forgone conclusion. “And that means that in the next ten days only a miracle can change the clear ratio of forces in the electoral struggle, which amply ensures Serzh Sarkisian’s victory already in the first round of voting,” it says.
“Taregir” says that the Armenian authorities are switching from “petty hooligan acts” to “actions leading to an overt confrontation” in their attempts to prevent Levon Ter-Petrosian from winning the election. The pro-Ter-Petrosian paper points to a violent incident that nearly disrupted the former president’s rally in Artashat.
“Intolerance is reaching a climax,” reads a headline in “Iskakan Iravunk.” “As voting day approaches the first Armenian president’s rhetoric is becoming increasingly aggressive,” says the paper. “Both Levon Ter-Petrosian and his teammates are making more and more offensive remarks about the prime minister and his team as well as those who do not want to support Levon Ter-Petrosian.”
Political analyst Sarkis Baghumian tells “Zhamanak Yerevan” that the Armenian authorities will be “shocked” by the votes results. He says they will be very different from opinion polls putting Sarkisian in the lead.