Everything has been said about the last parliamentary elections: governmental powers, oppressions of the directors of state institutions, and the owners of private companies, and of course money, which I believe is absolutely true, have played a crucial role. That the Republican Party of Armenia has reported about a half million additional votes in its favour, or that voting was carried out from 100 thousand non-existent addresses, I cannot consider these two claims as proven. However, no opposition, as I know, has complained that the media did not create equal conditions for everyone in campaign. Only “Armenia Renaissance” and the Communists had the grace to thank the media for balanced coverage in their post electoral posts. However, I have not heard of and read the complaints of the others.
You cannot compare H1 “Agenda” of this pre-election campaign with the pre-election “Haylur”, which was breathing poison and pus towards the opposition on its each release. Sometimes, in press conferences H1 journalists ask the sharpest questions. Other TV channels have been also changed. There is a complete freedom on the internet, which may irritate some people, but, to my mind, it is better so than somebody not to be able to express his/her opinions and emotions.
Moreover, some opposition figures speak of “fear atmosphere”. Throughout two months, conditionally taken, from February 2 to April 2 I have conducted several dozen interviews and I have not noticed any opposition figure to fear from giving the strictest assessments to the authorities. Some of them told that Armenia is a dictatorship regime and probably as the proof of it proceeded with their sharp criticism.
Are the headmasters of the schools afraid? And why is Ashot Bleyan not afraid? Why the director of Yerevan State Puppet Theatre Ruben Babayan not afraid? Why is the vice-director of the National Institute of Education Anahit Bakhshyan not afraid? Fear is an extremely personal manifestation. Who gives preference to fear, will fear. The environment here is of no importance.