Speaking to “Aravot,” veteran politician Hrant Khachatrian draws parallels between the mayoral race in Yerevan last year’s Armenian presidential election. When asked whether he does not rule out a repeat of the March 2008 bloodshed in the capital, Khachatrian says, “Of course, nobody wants a repeat of March 1. Do you know what people’s main hope is? Strangely enough, many hope that there will be a deal between the opposition and the authority: the country to Serzh [Sarkisian] and Yerevan to Levon [Ter-Petrosian.]”
“Zhamanak” says that the Sarkisian administration is incapable of addressing Armenia’s political problems because it is “totally devoid of public support.” Hence, the complete absence of any logic behind the government’s actions in the domestic and international arena, says the pro-opposition daily. “In essence, that absence of a logic testifies to the absence of a government in the country,” it claims. “In any country, the authority, whether it’s good or bad, is better than anarchy. Anarchy can not reign long in a country like Armenia given its geographical and geopolitical position.”
“Of all the election campaigns that I have followed this one is the saddest,” political expert Hmayak Hovannisian tells “Golos Armenii.” In his words, a good thing about the May 31 municipal elections is that they will be held solely on the party list basis. This fact should have led to a series of televised debates between the main election contenders. “That hasn’t happened in our case,” says Hovannisian. “The opposition is openly avoiding televised debates.”
“When I watch the election campaign of government forces I see that often times they too are honestly surprised by how they have handled Yerevan, how they have plundered it,” Suren Abrahamian, a former Yerevan mayor now affiliated with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “168 Zham.” Abrahamian also slams the “so-called intellectuals” supporting pro-government parties.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Naira Zohrabian of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) dismisses an opposition media report that referred to the BHK’s mayoral candidate, Health Minister Harutiun Kushkian, as a “hidden oligarch” and accused him of corruption. “Mr. Kushkian has never hidden his assets,” she says. “They have been declared and are not a secret to anyone.” Zohrabian says the opposition accusations are a further sign that the BHK enjoys “serious” popular support in Yerevan.