“Aravot” says that government-organized rallies held across Armenia in support of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian are a “meaningless exercise.” “The rallies organized by the authorities are a contest of sorts,” explains the paper. It says governors, mayor, village chiefs and the state bureaucracy are competing with each other in herding public sector workers to those gatherings. “Serzh Sarkisian’s real voters must feel humiliated to attend such gatherings. The more so given the fact that whatever he says will be shown for three of four times by all TV companies.”
“Azg” says Sarkisian’s rally in Republic Square, was a public relations disaster as scores of people brought there by local and central government officials walked over to the nearby Liberty Square to join tens of thousands of people rallying for Levon Ter-Petrosian. The paper says Sarkisian should have found a different way of appealing to the nation. It also urges Ter-Petrosian not to “turn people legitimately unhappy with the situation in our country and sincerely expressing their protests into a crowd.” “A crowd, especially a mad one, is not controllable. Even for its leaders,” concludes “Azg.”
U.S.-Armenian analyst Richard Giragosian tells “168 Zham” that the post-election unrest in Armenia reflects a “crisis of trust” resulting from the “sharp polarization” of political life. Giragosian sees a “dangerous legitimacy gap” in the country.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the post-election tensions are approaching a “denouement.” “One of the political camps is doing everything to restore the atmosphere of solidarity and unity in the country, while the other on the contrary sees the key to its success in the disruption [of that atmosphere,]” comments the paper. “A lot will depend on the attitudes towards these two camps of other Armenian forces and the public in general.”