“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” dismisses as disingenuous Armenian leaders’ official statements issued on the occasion of May Day, a public holiday in Armenia. “In Armenia, the phrase ‘workers’ rights’ is science fiction,” writes the paper. It argues that public and private sector employees were routinely forced to attend recent pre-election meetings of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). They would have lost their jobs if they had refused to, it says.
Citing government data, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that there are more than 220,000 unemployed people in Armenia at present. “This figure is down by about 22,000 from 2015,” the paper says. “But not because jobless people found work. The decrease in the number of unemployed people did not increase the number of officially employed ones. Furthermore, the number of employees shrunk by about 66,000.”
“Aravot” says that campaigning for the May 14 municipal elections in Yerevan is following a familiar pattern, with opposition candidates painting an exceedingly grim picture of the situation in the Armenian capital and promising quick and radical improvements. “Election campaigns are like this not only in Armenia but also in any other country where elections are held,” editorializes the paper. Voters simply need to have a minimum degree of “political literacy” to tell populism and demagoguery from credible campaign pledges. The paper believes that Armenians are learning to do that.
“Zhamanak” says the opposition contenders in the mayoral race, the Yelk alliance and the Yerkir Tsirani party, insist that their victory in the upcoming elections would dramatically change the overall political situation in the country. The paper says that they do not specify just how they would achieve such change in case of their victory. “The thing is that despite its huge significance Yerevan is only a local community,” it says, adding that the ruling HHK will retain its majority in the Armenian parliament even if the Yerevan municipality is controlled by the opposition. What is more, it says, the parliament can curb the municipal administration’s powers at any moment.