Most Armenians remain optimistic about their country’s future and supportive of their government formed as a result of last year’s “Velvet Revolution,” according to a U.S.-funded opinion poll.
They are particularly satisfied with the government’s fight against corruption involving high-profile prosecutions, shows the latest poll commissioned by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
It was conducted in September and October by the Baltic Survey/The Gallup Organization and the Armenian Sociological Association (ASA).
The survey released by the IRI this week shows, in particular, that 62 percent of 1,200 randomly interviewed people across Armenia believe that the country is heading in the right direction.
Accordingly, 55 percent of those polled said they would vote for Pashinian’s My Step bloc if Armenia held general elections next Sunday, down from 59 percent recorded by the previous IRI poll conducted in May. Businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) would finish second with 19 percent, followed by another opposition party, Bright Armenia. The latter would get 6 percent of the vote, said the pollsters.
The former Republican Party (HHK), whose leader Serzh Sarkisian was overthrown in last year’s revolution, had only 4 percent support. The HHK garnered a slightly higher percentage of votes in the December 2018 parliamentary elections, compared with over 70 percent polled by Pashinian’s bloc.
The voter survey shows that 76 percent of Armenians approve of the work of the prime minister and his office and that two-thirds of them believe the authorities are doing enough to combat corruption, up from 59 percent recorded in May.
“Recent charges against former high-level Armenian officials highlights how serious the problem of corruption was under the previous regime,” Stephen Nix, the IRI regional director for Eurasia, said in a statement. “It is encouraging to see that the data reflects a positive view of the new government’s anti-corruption efforts.”
Nix also cautioned that “even though the government has delivered well on anti-corruption reforms, we see signs that the population is concerned over progress in the socio-economic field.”
About one in three respondents said that the financial situation of their household has improved over the last six months. At the same time 63 percent described that situation as “somewhat good” or “very good.”
When asked about the Pashinian government’s biggest failures, the largest proportion of respondents (27 percent) pointed to “bad management” while another 13 percent blamed the government for “political instability” in the country.