did the local press react to Wednesday's runoff,
and what impressions might the outside world get
from what it reads in its newspapers?
Here are headlines and some excerpts of how some
locals and some foreigners saw it in Thursday
and Friday editions.
Financial Times (news.ft.com).
Protests over 'flawed' election in Armenia:
". . . The demonstrations followed one of
the tensest presidential races in years and raised
concern over stability . . ."
The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com)
and the The New York Times (www.nytimes.com)
ran the same Associated Press story, with the
Armenia Opposition Charge Election Fraud:
". . . The huge rallies, although peaceful,
bruised Armenia's attempts to persuade the international
community and investors that it is overcoming
its post-Soviet troubles and becoming a stable
democracy. . ."
The Post, however, ran a second AP article headlined
Armenia's President Kocharian Re-Elected:
"Incumbent Robert Kocharian easily won re-election
in a presidential runoff seen as a test of Armenia's
democracy . . ."
The Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com)
had four Armenia-related stories over the past
two days. Fraud Seen in Armenia Election:
". . . 'We have very democratic people, but
the regime is totally undemocratic. It is built
on the clan system,' Telyan said. . ."
And With Vote Over, Armenians Wait for Better
Days to Materialize: ". . . moved by
some faint stirring of optimism, he voted for
incumbent President Robert Kocharyan in Wednesday's
second-round poll, explaining that he had seen
the president's achievements 'with my own eyes'
. . ."
The Moscow Times (www.themoscowtimes.com).
Armenia's Kocharyan Wins 2nd Term: "
. . . Both camps braced for disturbances . . .
Tens of thousands of protesters poured into the
center of Yerevan for a series of demonstrations
to demand a recount. . ."
Tehran Times (www.tehrantimes.com).
Armenia Votes for Presidential Election:
". . . The poll in the impoverished ex-Soviet
country has implications for the oil-rich Caspian
region as a whole . . ."
International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com).
Fraud charged in Armenia vote: ".
. . the opposition swore not to recognize the
vote, citing fraud and intimidation. . ."
The Guardian (www.gaurdian.co.uk).
Armenian poll result disputed: ".
. . International monitors criticized the vote
for falling short of standards for open polls
. . ." (Associated Press)
Baku Today (www.bakutoday.net).
Voting Ends Amid Fraud Allegations: "
. . . As one local man put it 'I voted for (reputed
Armenian mobster) Gagik Tsarukian, both today
and on February 19'."
Local dailies were, naturally, less distant from
the flavor of Wednesday's vote and were able to
provide Armenian readers with plenty spice in
Haykakan Zhamanak (www.hzh.am).
Quoting Unity Party head Galust Sahakyan, on the
OSCE report criticizing the elections: ".
. . People trust more an observer, who I think
is not more sensible than us."
". . . It would be great for Kocharyan not
to have any western observer during the elections,
and the violation of citizens of the Republic
of Armenia would have been done away from everybody's
sight . . ."
". . . Be victorious not over bribery and
crime, but democracy, especially and particularly
over the people. . ."
Hayastani Hanrapetutyun. ". . . After each
elections we face the sad reality that the authorities
and political figures have no political culture,
in the given situation they have no culture to
be beaten . . ."
". . . The margin between the votes is so
huge that leaders of the opposition are forced
to announce universally about the falsifications
and not even feeling that they are extremely two-sided
to unwillingly cast suspicion also on the reality
of the 503,000 votes that their candidate got."
Hayots Ashkharh. ". . . the preference of
the incumbent President in the runoff was so great
and evident that all the efforts of the radicals
are doomed to fail . . ."