Onnik Krikorian reports on the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) presidential candidate Vahan Hovhannisian’s rally in Yerevan’s Liberty Square pointing out that the traditional political party is today best organized and is “more mature in terms of actual campaigning.” This is not the first time that Hovhannisian’s campaign gets positive review for respecting the electorate.

ARF-D Liberty Square Rally 632

(c) Onnik Krikorian 2007, Yerevan Liberty Square, Armenia

Krikorian also discusses the somewhat partisan news coverage of Radio Free Europe/Armenia Liberty, a U.S.-sponsored news media, that has previously seemed to suggest support for former president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s candidacy.

Incidentally, RFE/RL says that many of those in attendance [of the ARF rally] were “bused from outside the capital,” which is true, although it never seems to mention that the same was also true for last week’s Artur Baghdasarian rally. Levon Ter-Petrossian’s Liberty Square rally on 22 January was also made up mainly by supporters from the regions. Again, this unfortunately seems to be apparent bias from RFE/RL albeit dressed up as very sophisticated pro-Ter-Petrosian propaganda.

The RFE article on the ARF rally has also omitted the “nationalist” label that the news organization almost always adds to ARF. Although ARF is, indeed, nationalist compared to most Armenian political parties, the label has a quite negative connotation in western politics and doesn’t entirely reflect ARF’s position on many things. ARF has many wings, including one that sponsors the annual Armenians and the Left symposium, that are quite far from being nationalist.  I have myself used the term ‘nationalist’ to describe ARF at least once but I am not convinced that in covering political elections the vague term’s repeated usage by self-perceived objective media is justified.

RFE has been previously accused of selective reporting on the subject of “Days of Azerbaijan” in Armenia.