“Zhamanak” says the opposition Yelk alliance’s pledge to financially reward voters refusing to sell their votes to the ruling Republican Party is a bad idea that has seriously undermined its reputation among politically active Armenians. The paper claims that Nikol Pashinian and other Yelk leaders have called into question their status as the new and dominant opposition force in the Armenian political arena.
“What do the people of Yerevan expect from their mayor after all?” “Hraparak” asks in a commentary on the May 14 municipal elections in the Armenian capital. “To put it simply, they want what is usually demanded from the father of a family: care, financial security and a warm family atmosphere.” In the context of municipal affairs, the paper says, this means more green areas, better garbage collection, adequate public transportation, more orderly traffic and better maintenance of apartment blocks.
“Zhoghovurd” says that international mediators have still not specified the few remaining sticking points which they say are hampering a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper points in this regard to recriminations traded last week between deputy foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. It suggests that the conflicting parties primarily disagree on a future referendum on Karabakh’s status which proposed by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group. It says that crucial practical modalities of that referendum remain unknown.
“Aravot” blames not only Azerbaijan but also Russia for the impending closure of the Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The paper argues that several years ago Moscow forced the closure of a similar OSCE office in Georgia and did not object when the Azerbaijani government shut down the OSCE office in Baku as well. “It was now the Yerevan office’s turn,” it sys. “The Russians first made sure that a Russian diplomat is appointed as its head, and now even that is considered insufficient in Moscow, giving the impression that Moscow simply declared a war on the OSCE and its structures in ex-Soviet areas.”