“Hraparak” says Armenia’s main political parties are toughening their rhetoric ahead of the May 5 local elections in Yerevan. The paper claims that none of them has managed to attract a large following to score a landslide victory. It also thinks that the average voter in the city is “quite indifferent to the elections.” The elections will be won by “the political force that will succeed in getting voters to go to polling stations.” “Whether it will do that by force or through money or deceit is another question that will be answered on polling day,” it says.
“Zhamanak” says that as election day approaches the public is becoming increasingly interested in possible post-election developments. “What will happen after May 5?” asks the paper. “This question preoccupies many people, especially those who expect serious changes in the public, political, social and cultural life and in that regard pin no hopes on the current authorities. They make up the majority of Armenia’s population.”
“The situation is quite simple even though it might appear at first glance that everything is extremely complicated and that it is not clear who is in opposition and who is a [government] client,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “The thing is that the elections of Yerevan’s mayor have only two components: political and socioeconomic. For the average voter, it is every easy to understand both of them.”
“Azg” says the opposition contenders are trying to politicize the elections as much as possible in order to “keep voters politically active” after the recent presidential election. The authorities are doing the opposite. “By asserting that the elections are not political, they are attempting to reduce public interest in political processes,” writes the paper. “That interest is waning even without that. As for ordinary Yerevan residents, they are participating in the elections not on the basis of ideological principles but rather in the hope of being better off. Therefore, the May 5 elections belong not to such to the people of Yerevan as the political force that will win them.”
“Orakarg” notes that workers of the troubled Nairit chemical plant who periodically hold demonstrations in Yerevan are demanding payment of their back wages from the Armenian government, rather than a private company that owns 90 percent of Nairit. The government controls only the remaining 10 percent of shares in the plant.