“Haykakan Zhamanak” editorializes that chronic vote rigging can only fuel “extremism” in Armenia, with a growing number of its citizens wondering “what to do when they are humiliated, when they are robbed, when they have their rights trampled underfoot, when they are subjected to violence.” “The public depression and humiliation accumulates the energy that eventually lead to unpredictable processes,” says the paper. “So we can conclude that not only have the elections of Yerevan mayor failed to bring us closer to a resolution of the internal political crisis but has only deepened it,” it says. “They have made it even more clear the authorities are absolutely not concerned with overcoming the crisis and on the contrary consider it the main guarantee of their survival.”
“This is their tactics,” Aram Safarian of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) tells “Hayots Ashkhar,” commenting on the opposition Armenian National Congress’s decision not to take up its seats in Yerevan’s newly elected municipal council. “Perhaps they gathered and made such a decision, thinking that they should continue the political struggle in a different way.” Safarian criticizes the HAK for stating before the announcement of official vote results that it has won the May 31 elections.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the election outcome is only “a temporary victory for the underworld” and the opposition will prevail “sooner of later.” The opposition paper says the ruling Republican Party (HHK) has few genuine supporters that voted for it in good faith.
Speaking to “Zhamanak,” Andranik Kocharian, one of the two opposition members of the Fact-Finding Group of Experts, criticizes his pro-government colleagues for boycotting the work of the body investigating the March 2008 unrest in Yerevan. Kocharian also comments on their claims that he created an “unbearable” atmosphere within the group. “How come the atmosphere became unbearable only when the group sent a report on the death of [police officer] Hamlet Tadevosian to the ad hoc commission of the National Assembly?” he says. “After that our colleagues went on vacation and it turned out after the vacation that they can’t stand the atmosphere anymore.”