“Zhamanak” says the Armenian authorities must fully solve the murder of Hrach Muradian, the mayor of Proshian village close to Yerevan, if they are to prevent their critics from exploiting it. “Right now there are few theories of the crime in circulation,” writes the paper. “Everything in Armenia is based on hypotheses and remains so until the end. As a result of this, we see various types of speculations that poison the atmosphere and help some people cash in on that atmosphere.”
Mher Sedrakian, a controversial lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Hraparak” that the HHK can win the upcoming municipal elections in Yerevan without fraud. “We did a clean job in the presidential elections and we’ll do the same in these elections. What’s the problem? Who else should win?” Sedrakian also defends the inclusion of his son, son-in-law and other relatives on the HHK’s electoral list in Yerevan. “This is our electoral secret. We will explain it later on,” he says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” is waiting to see how the HHK will go about getting at least 40 percent of the vote needed for re-appointing Taron Markarian as Yerevan mayor. “This is a very difficult task,” claims the pro-opposition paper. It argues that the HHK barely managed to get 40 percent in the last parliamentary elections mainly thanks to rural areas. “Rigging elections in Yerevan is going to be much harder, and they seem to realize this in the HHK,” it says. “In all likelihood, handing out vote bribes will be their main trump card. But it is unlikely to help [the ruling party] much. Many voters will take bribes and vote for whoever they want.” The paper also predicts that Raffi Hovannisian’s Barev Yerevan bloc will get much fewer votes than he did in the February 18 presidential election. It says the HHK will help Hovannisian to ensure that that decline is not spectacular.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the unfolding mayoral race in Yerevan increasingly resembles a boxing match. “In the confrontation between the authorities and the opposition and the relationships within the government and the opposition nobody cares about the essence of things anymore,” says the paper. “What matters is affiliation with a particular camp, group or team and vulnerability at every moment.”