To expand and clarify a point I made in my previous post: the aim of the opposition is to delegitimize the election, and their hope is to make it look like a sham through lack of real opposition and low voter turnout.
It’s clear to all that there is no real opposition, but that doesn’t mean there is no opposition. There are currently 10 candidates, including Freedom party leader Hrant Bagratyan, and likely more will come. None of these candidates will garner many votes, likely topping out at 1-2%, but their mere presence helps legitimize the election. Mere appearance of opposition is beneficial to the incumbent and may be enough to combat the ANC’s accusations. How many (if any) of the candidates are being encouraged to run by the pro-Sargsyan camp is unknown.
It’s also impossible to know how much lower the voter turnout will be until February. There is evidence that a percentage of Prosperous Armenia supporters won’t vote, but it’s not clear how large that number will actually be.