“Yerkir” claims that the final report on Armenia’s recent parliamentary elections released by the OSCE/ODIHR is an “affront to not only Armenia’s government but people.” The paper says the OSCE observer mission considers the elections legitimate despite documenting numerous irregularities and misuse of administrative resources by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “For them, the fact that we managed to hold a peaceful election campaign is an achievement,” it says with irony.
“Zhamanak” speculates that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) could restore its allegiance to the government or field a common presidential candidate with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) this fall. “There seems to be no other variant of regroupings [in the Armenian political arena,]” writes the paper. It says further developments essentially depend on whether or not the BHK and the HHK will manage to cut deals in the coming months.
“Regardless of who will be the single opposition candidate in next year’s presidential elections or whether there will be one, regardless of the outcome of those elections, it can be concluded that political and social organizations as well as the media can now operate in a relatively free environment,” writes “Aravot.” “It’s relatively free because we are very far from the European standards for democracy and freedom of speech. Moving closer to them requires a sincere desire on the part of our fellow citizens in the first instance, which is clearly not there. If we ask people on the street whether they support those standards most of them will not even understand what we are talking about and will start complaining about their social hardships … But while being very far from Europe, we are not quite behind Georgia and Turkey in this regard and are several steps ahead of other neighbors.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” writes on the alarming rise in suicides committed in Armenia. “Desperation and suicide go hand in hand,” says the paper. “And a sense of desperation deepens further in the conditions of general uncertainty. The overall impression is such that the society and the majority of people have no clear idea of the foreseeable future and their place, position and situation in that future. There is no confidence in the immediate future and, for the most part, there are no positive expectations from that future, life and the further course of life.”