Armenian newspapers focus on the municipal elections that took place in Yerevan on May 14.
“168 Zham” suggests that despite the end of an election cycle, the coming year is going to be marked by continued struggle for power considering that the country is fully switching to a parliamentary form of government from 2018. “This political struggle will become even tenser during the next year, but the difference will be that it is going to be taking place among several government factions,” the paper predicts.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” in the latest electoral cycle President Serzh Sarkisian “has managed to get all that any leader of a country like Armenia could only dream about.” “The ideological opposition lies in ruins and is not represented anywhere in state institutions. Instead there are ‘oppositionists’ who are only seemingly opposed to the government and are only known for their critical rhetoric. They may speak about anything, but will never take people to streets. This is a blessed situation for the government, because the powers that be in Armenia are not afraid of words, they are afraid of street struggle,” the daily writes.
“Zhamanak” considers the results of the Yerevan municipal elections published by the Central Electoral Commission not only as a landslide victory for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), but also a total surrender and humiliation of the opposition: “The HHK trialed in these elections participation without a so-called “buffer” party, such as tycoon Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia, and it managed to succeed. The matter does not concern the quality of elections, as there is no such issue on our political agenda and elections are not a political event, but a reflection of the use of system resources.”
The editor of “Aravot” writes: “Life is always a choice, and in non-totalitarian systems this choice is not that dramatic and fateful. But it still requires some effort. I do not agree that along with the improvement of the population’s social condition people in Armenia will refuse to take cash for their votes during elections. Is it that only poor people take money in elections today, in 2017? No, I am inclined to think that people who don’t have any serious social problems also accept electoral bribes, and not because otherwise they would go hungry, but because they see nothing bad in it.”