“Let’s face it, holding an election campaign in Armenia does not make sense anymore,” writes “Yerkir.” “What’s the point of not sleeping, thinking, hiring strategists, inventing a motto, organizing discussions with various specialists and drawing up programs for more than a month when you can get the percentage [of votes] you want in a matter of hours and say that the elections were held in accordance with democratic norms and that the people willingly elected those whom they trust?” The paper says this is the conclusion that can be drawn from the Armenian parliamentary elections.
Political commentator Armen Badalian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) can only form a “meaningless” coalition government with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) because it will have a comfortable majority in the new parliament. But, he says, the Republican are interested in such a coalition in order to legitimize their election victory and undercut the BHK’s popularity.
“Zhamanak” says that a coalition deal with the HHK is fraught with serious risks for the BHK and its leader Gagik Tsarukian, who assured supporters during the election campaign that he is ready to suffer any “losses” for the sake of his principles. “Is Gagik Tsarukian really prepared for such a step?” asks the paper. “Is he ready for losses? Is he ready to take risks?”
“I have been in politics for 20 years but don’t remember any other case where opposition voters were so easily given to representatives of the government,” Ruben Hakobian, the deputy chairman of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Unfortunately, some opposition forces, especially [Levon Ter-Petrosian’s] HAK, defended illicit actions taken by one of the ruling coalition forces: vote bribes, vote buying under the guise of benevolence. As a result, they managed to take away 15-20 percent of the vote from the opposition.” Hakobian specifically points to the establishment of the Inter-Party Center for Public Oversight of the Elections by the HAK, the BHK and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). “This was a conspiracy against the opposition electorate,” he says.
Lyudmila Sargsian, a senior member of the HAK, tells “Aravot” that she respects a possible decision by the Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party to pull out of the opposition alliance. She says she wishes Hanrapetutyun “all the best” in it further political activities.