IRI poll reveals Armenian gov't still enjoys considerable support
The US International Republican Institute (IRI) has conducted its first nationwide poll in Armenia since the Karabakh war in the fall of 2020 and identified three major issues of greatest concern to society.
These are political instability (12%), unemployment (11%) and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (9%).
In the next four years, 26% of those polled said they did not see a future for themselves or their families in Armenia. At the same time, 15% of them “definitely do not see” their future at home at all.
The survey involved 1,510 people from both the capital and the regions.
A more detailed look at the IRI poll results below.
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In an election, the majority would not vote for anyone
The poll showed that if elections were held in Armenia next Sunday, 33 percent would vote for the ruling political force My Step.
The opposition Prosperous Armenia Party would receive three percent of the vote, followed by former Armenian President Robert Kocharian, who does not yet have a party.
He would receive two percent of the popular vote.
But the majority, 42 percent, would choose the ‘no one’ option.
This poll result attracted the attention of local political scientists, as the political crisis continues in the country, the opposition demands the resignation of the current prime minister and negotiations are underway to hold early elections.
As for the rating of the most active opposition parties, they turned out to be leaders in response to the question: “What political force would you not vote for?”
The former ruling Republican Party of Armenia took first place with 25 percent, while opposition party Prosperous Armenia came in second with 17% of respondents saying the party would definitely not receive their vote.
What should the authorities focus on?
When asked about further steps, 97% of those surveyed answered that the government should focus on domestic issues – the economy, political stability and social issues.
The second most important issue requiring the attention of the authorities was the issue of reintegration of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh. 92 percent of the respondents believed that the government should ensure the safe return to NK of those of its residents who moved to Armenia in the fall of 2020, during the second Karabakh war.
When asked which institution people are most satisfied with, the result was the following:
- army – about 73 percent
- police – 63 percent
- human rights defender’s office – 60 percent
- local government bodies – 56 percent
- the office of the prime minister – 54 percent
- Armenian Apostolic Church – 52 percent of the respondents
At the same time, they are dissatisfied with:
- the work of parliament – 62 percent
- the president – 60 percent
- the office of the prime minister – 43 percent
- the entire government – 53 percent
- the General Prosecutor’s Office – 53 percent
- courts – 57 percent
The poll results show in figures all the apathy and disappointment of the Armenian public, political scientist Norayr Dunamalyan believes:
“In general, people have no one to choose from. In the post-war situation, such a rating of the authorities is, of course, anomalous, but this whole situation with an empty political field has been forming over the past 15-20 years.”
To resolve the political crisis in the country, early parliamentary elections are expected. In this regard, many in society think about what will happen if elections are held tomorrow – and no party wins 50 + 1 percent of the vote. Will this lead to the next crisis?
“An important factor is the adoption of a new electoral code – what features it will have and whether it will be adopted at all. Going to elections with the old code means returning to the practice of using administrative resources and big finances.
According to this logic, as a result of the elections, two large competing blocs will be formed, which will collect votes as best they can. And this will be facilitated by distrust of both the authorities and the opposition,” the expert said.
In his opinion, at the same time, one should not forget about the foreign policy factor, and “the factor of Russia in the future elections will be even more significant than in the past.”