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Armenia preparing for parliamentary elections 2017

New form of government awaits Armenia. After the current President’s term comes to an end in 2018, Armenia will become a Parliamentary Republic.

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia are certainly a great event for the country. Five parties and four blocks. To make it in to the Parliament, the parties will have to gain more than 50%, and 7% will be enough for the blocks.

Alexander Iskandaryan, political scientist, director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute:
Either one party should win and have more than 54%, according to the new Constitution, or if no one gains these 54%, than a coalition should be set up which will assure the majority of votes. It will give the system stability. If it doesn’t work out in the period of six days, then the second round of elections should be held.

The Constitutional reform was initiated by President Sargsyan himself. In December 2015 the Armenian leader was supported by a little bit more than 63% of the Armenian population. However, is it a key figure? Today Armenians are unsatisfied with the unemployment rates in the country and they say that they have nothing to pay the community facilities with, or simply buy food.

Armenia citizens:
I am old enough not to believe in fairytales. I know that I will continue working as I used to, basically for nothing. I don’t see a bright future for myself. The only thing that I am dreaming of is my own flat with a shower.

The emigration rate in Armenia today is one of the highest in the world. It is all due to the economic crisis. Most of the people in Armenia prefer earning money abroad. As many as 18% of the country’s population do not have a permanent job.

Samvel Mnatsakyan, taxi driver:
I suppose that program developers are in demand, but no one needs ordinary workers.

Samvel Mnatsakyan has been driving for 30 years now. Before it was something that he enjoyed, but today it is a necessity. His pension is not enough for him.

Samvel Mnatsakyan:
I get 34,000 drams paid. It’s my pension. It is only enough to pay the utility, sometimes it is not even enough in winter.

Health services in Armenia are not free. The level of poverty in Armenia (according to official information) is 30%. One third of small and medium businesses are not functioning.

Onik Agigyan:
I sell fish now. I used to work at a condensing plant. There is no work today.

Pensioners:
The current situation in Armenia is monopolism. Armenia is getting empty.

They are promising to increase salaries and pensions. Where are they going to take the money from if the economy in this country doesn’t exist?

The ratings of the current Prime Minister of Armenia, Karen Karepetyan, are so high, that he is predicted to be the next president.

Aram Navasardyan, director of the «Gallup International Association» representative office in Armenia:
Before the agitation the situation was the following. The block lead by Tsarukyan was a bit ahead of the Republicans. Thanks to the agitation, the Republican party managed to leave Tsarukyan’s block behind.

This is the symbol of Armenia, a pomegranate. It symbolizes the new governmental system, the transition from a half presidential to a parliamentary republic.

Aram Navasardyan, director of the «Gallup International Association» representative office in Armenia:
Efficient governance is possible in a presidential and parliamentary republic. It all depends on the wish to do it all.

Alexander Iskandaryan, political scientist, director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute:
The foreign course policy of Armenia cannot change dramatically. Armenia needs forms of security; this is the purpose of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia has a possibility to cooperate with the former Soviet countries. This is the purpose of the Eurasian Economic Union. It is possible for Belarus and Armenia to cooperate in different spheres, from politics to economy.

The cooperation between Belarus and Armenia was discussed this week. Alexander Lukashenko met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to the Republic of Belarus, due to the termination of the Ambassador’s diplomatic term. Armen Khachatryan represented Armenia’s interests in Belarus since 2010.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarus has always had wonderful relations with the leaders of Armenia, no matter what the views on the world order were. There are pressing issues. You should know the most important thing that Belarus and Armenia have always been close to each other, and will always remain close.

This is a Belarusian shop in Armenia’s capital Yerevan. As many as 11,000 items. A building of two levels. Belarusian flax, cosmetics, furniture, agricultural equipment are sold here. It is planned that the direct flight Minsk-Yerevan will be renewed. Then Belarusian sausages and dairy products will appear on the shelves of Armenian shops.

Buyers:
The quality of Belarusian products is very high. I always use Belarusian cosmetics.

I often buy things here for my relative and friends.

Nearly 1,500 tonnes and a height of two people. Belshina occupies 40% of the Armenian market today.

As many as 650 international observers came to Armenia to follow the historic parliamentary elections. However, there were those who were refused entry. The European platform wasn’t allowed in, it was said that there were enough of observers anyway.

Meanwhile, more and more independent contemplators are starting to appear. The famous American director Eric Nazaryan and a soloist of an American rock group Serzh Tankyan came to Yerevan the day before with a suggestion to sign a petition and fight against corruption. Nevertheless, April 1 was a day of silence in Armenia. It is the right time to think about the pluses and the minuses, the time to think for the woman, who simply wants to have a shower in her flat and for the man, who sells fish to earn some money to buy bread.

Armenia's parliamentary elections 2017