“Hayots Ashkhar” says the May 5 elections in Yerevan ended a yearlong electoral cycle in Armenia, ushering in a “new period that will see both lingering problems left over from the previous years and the overall correlation among political forces remaining unchanged.” “Of course, there have been no serious post-election upheavals this time around, but this does not mean that they can be ruled out in the next few years,” the paper writes, adding that the “complicated and predictable foreign political situation” is conducive to such shocks. “Given these conditions, it is evident that Armenia does not have much time to find solutions to the country’s fundamental problems because the country’s economic situation, psychological atmosphere and the resulting high rates of emigration are a cause for serious concern,” it says.
“Iravunk” says the election results left the opposition forces extremely confused, as evidenced by their leaders’ “meaningless” statements and actions. The paper claims that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has turned a blind eye on election fraud committed by supporters of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and decried only irregularities that benefited the ruling Republican Party (HHK). It also attacks another opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian and his Zharangutyun party, saying that they somehow managed to lose the bulk of the popular support given to Hovannisian in the February 2013 presidential election.
“I don’t think that it is fair to look at the authorities and the opposition on the same plane,” Vartan Harutiunian, a veteran human rights campaigner sympathetic to the opposition, tells “Aravot.” “As for the Yerevan elections, there is not much we can say about them. In this game called an election, politics was defeated by money. We can conclude that the shameful practice of buying votes has finally taken root in our country … And all those preparing for the next elections must take this into account.”
“If everyone is unhappy [with life] then who engenders the causes of this widespread discontent?” “Hraparak” writes in an editorial. “Why are we not trying to eliminate those causes? When elderly people, veterans of World War II recall Soviet times with nostalgia that makes us surprised. How can one dream about a country that saw [the Stalin-era purges of] 1937, a country where millions of sacrificed human lives were taken for granted, a country that was closed, devoid of freedom?”