“Various government bodies again failed to avoid various vote irregularities,” “Aravot” writes in a commentary on Monday’s presidential election. “They did not abandon the services of local ‘neighborhood guys.’ That certainly cast a shadow on the election. Actions by the police and prosecutors will show just how systematic and premeditated those violations were. A cover-up would add to suspicions.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the election followed a familiar pattern. “Namely, with widespread falsifications,” claims the pro-opposition daily. “They again picked wrong ink [for passport stamps.] They again handed out vote bribes. People again voted in place of others.” The paper says the authorities resorted to these methods even in the absence of formidable opposition candidates.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that opposition efforts to portray President Serzh Sarkisian as a dictator ended in complete failure on election day. “You can make demagogic statements about the ‘criminal regime’ and ‘kleptocracy’ several times a day,” writes the pro-Sarkisian paper. “But nobody has become a dictator as a result of that.” It says Sarkisian has long proved that he is not a dictator or autocrat. “He has never been regarded as one, including outside the country,” it says.
For “Hraparak,” the election demonstrated that Armenians are not as submissive as some think. The paper says Raffi Hovannisian’s strong performance in the ballot amounts to a defeat for Serzh Sarkisian. “The authorities must draw very serious conclusions from that,” it says.
“Azg” says the increased use of online social networks made vote rigging harder this time around. At the same time, the paper notes that three major political groups did not take part in the presidential race, leaving Sarkisian without a tough challenger.