“Domestic politics in Armenia seems to be locked in a closed cycle and does not go beyond events and figures of the first two decades of independence,” writes “Zhamanak.” “They keep coming back with different statuses, in different ways, directly or perhaps indirectly. Armenia’s political life is built on their going and coming. Nothing else happens in that life.” In this sense, says the paper, Armenia has a lot to learn from Georgia.
“Hayots Ashkhar” commends Armenia’s leaders for promising to hold democratic elections but worries that “optimistic expectations” from the May 2012 vote may not materialize. “We would certainly like to be wrong in our forecasts but the intensifying aggressive rhetoric of some opposition groups and politicians … does not promise anything good,” writes the paper. It points the finger at Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK), saying that the opposition bloc is “getting ready not for elections but a war or at least a battle.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says it is already evident that the National Assembly will block the opposition motion to hold the elections only under the system of proportional representation. “The reason for that is also evident,” writes the opposition daily. “The authorities are confident that they will get 41 parliament mandates in the single-seat constituencies. But where does that confidence come from?” The paper says pro-government candidates usually win in those districts because they can rely on the backing of local networks of government and law-enforcement officials scared of regime change. They also capitalize on many voters’ belief that a wealthy person, no matter how corrupt, can get some things done in their communities.
All the Armenian opposition can do in these circumstances is to have strong candidates in all 41 districts, continues “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “Technically this is possible to do because, frankly speaking, a political force cannot be deemed serious if it lacks even 41 influential figures within its ranks,” concludes the daily.
“Hraparak” says that another vote rigging would be the worst-case scenario for Armenia. “In this regard, it will be almost a catastrophe if some processes unfold the way they were planned by the authorities,” writes the paper. “If, for example, the [governing] HHK and the BHK contest the elections with a single list [of candidates] or if the Armenian National Congress remains passive until and after the elections.”