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Press Review


Levon Zurabian, a leader of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Zhamanak” that the opposition alliance will continue to adhere to “constitutional” methods of political struggle after the municipal elections in Yerevan. “We just think that is the acceptable method,” he says. “But by resorting to such steps the authorities are really clearing the way to extremist forces. They are destroying the people’s trust in democratic mechanisms. They are reinforcing the arguments of those force who think that these authorities understand only the language of force.”

“Levon Ter-Petrosian managed to garner only about 70,000 votes,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Just over a year ago, during the presidential elections, about 150,000 voters in Yerevan voted for Ter-Petrosian. No matter how much they speak of vote falsifications … the fact is that Ter-Petrosian has lost at least half of his electorate in Yerevan over the past year.” The pro-government paper believes one of the reasons for that were pretentious statements made by Ter-Petrosian and his associated during their campaign rallies. In particular, it says, their pledges to liberate the city’s “enslaved” population must have been offended and repelled many Yerevan residents.

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the May 31 elections showed that if there is anyone who can prevent vote rigging in Armenia it is journalists and a handful of opposition proxies. “Read carefully reports of vote irregularities and see who was subjected to violence by oligarchs and their [bodyguards with] shaven heads,” says the pro-opposition daily. “You will certainly find no famous names. You may just know some journalists. The names of proxies who fought [against fraud] tooth and nail will certainly not tell you anything. As for politicians who make fiery speeches about the need to wage a do-or-die struggle all the time, their names definitely don’t figure in reports [on election-related violence.] You see, they are all strategists and don’t want to deal with minor confrontations.”

“Having gained absolute power, Serzh Sarkisian might think later on that there is no need to share that power with some forces, something which Robert Kocharian had been doing since 2003,” writes Lragir.am. “So the Kocharian principle of divide and rule may be replaced by the Sarkisian principle of collect and rule. By expanding the circle of disgruntled and concerned individuals, Serzh Sarkisian is obviously taking a risk. Perhaps he thinks that no matter how much he hurts, vexes and worries people, the system will still tolerate him as long as it is haunted by the ghost of the Armenian National Congress.” But the opposition, says the online journal, does not pose a serious danger to the ruling regime at present.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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