The United States government funded International Republican Institute has published its latest poll on the political, economic and social conditions in Armenia. 1200 citizens of different backgrounds, ages, gender and income, living in the capital city Yerevan and the other regions of the country participated in the survey. Unlike in the United States, where polls are conducted over the phone or online, this survey was done through face to face interviews.
In Armenia, especially during the previous government, most people were skeptical of the public opinion polls, considering them unreliable and manipulated to reach certain political results. There was also another factor that prevented the participation of the people in such inquiries and answering them sincerely, due to the fact that people were afraid of retributions if they expressed opinions which were critical of the authorities.
The International Republican Institute is considered a reputable organization which is close to the Republican Party, with conservative leanings, but the results published by them are considered reliable and reflect the overall mood of the people of Armenia at this given moment.
The poll, which was released on July 8th, confirms that the government headed by Nikol Pashinyan continues to enjoy about 70% approval rating, if you combine the percentages of the people who either have a positive or mostly positive view of the governments conduct. This result is 12% less than comparable poll published last year. On the other hand, the percentage of dissatisfaction has risen from 13 to 25 percent. These decline is considered very normal, and it may be subject to further change in the following months. The approval numbers are considered very high if we compare them with other democratic countries. Also, it should be noted that there are substantial number of dissatisfied people who think that Prime Minister Pashinyan is being too lenient with the former corrupt regime members, and want him to take more drastic measures against those who have robbed the country for over 20 years and still keeping the riches they have accumulated.
Other data from the survey suggests that decline in approval numbers for the ruling Civil Contract party is not translated to a rise in the approval ratings for the former ruling Republican Party, whose popularity continues to be around 5 percent, which is very close to the percentage of votes it received during the last December’s parliamentary elections. The poll data also dispel the myth circulated by the opposition, that Pashinyan is suffering from a sharp decline in popularity.
Today, Armenia is living in an abnormal political environment, where 80-90 percent of the mass media is controlled by the opposition and the supporters of the former regime, who are running a coordinated campaign of misinformation and fake news, through TV stations, newspapers, websites and social media, all aiming to convince the people that after the revolution nothing has changed in the country, and that Pashinyan is not keeping his Promises.
This latest poll once again reaffirms that despite the widespread campaign against the government, the people of Armenia are much more cognizant of the realities and have the patience to give the government the time to achieve its social and political agenda.