Yerevan Elections: Third week of campaigning brings more of the same pledges for Armenian capital

Yerevan Elections: Third week of campaigning brings more of the same pledges for Armenian capital

The campaign in the May 5 elections to Yerevan’s municipal assembly continues mostly at the level of meetings in yards of residential buildings where candidates give various pledges to potential voters promising better services and a more comfortable city.

The top candidate on the ruling Republican Party’s list, Taron Margaryan, in the capacity of the incumbent mayor on Thursday visited the Charles Aznavour Square where an interactive chess board has been unveiled.

According to the mayor, such interactive installations are important from the educational point of view and more are to come not only in the city center, but in all other administrative districts of the capital as well.

Acting Minister of Emergency Situations Armen Yeritsyan, who is the top candidate on Orinats Yerkir’s list, held a meeting in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia community, speaking about problems that exist in connection with water, electricity, gas supplies as well as problems of kindergartens.

The mayoral candidate stressed that people leave the country for two main reasons – they have no jobs and no housing of their own. So, in his view, the city authorities should be able to tackle these problems by promoting medium businesses and building housing that would be affordable for middle-income families.

Gurgen Arsenyan, who is the number two candidate on the Prosperous Armenia Party’s list, said during a meeting with voters in the Kanaker district that if his party were to assume the leadership in Yerevan, within a year the city would get 12 new kindergartens – one in each of its administrative districts.

The mayoral candidate from the opposition Hello Yerevan bloc, Armen Martirosyan, put emphasis on political problems.

“I see a political basis in all of the problems and see solutions to these problems in the political realm,” Martirosyan told reporters.

Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) candidate Ruzan Arakelyan, too, thinks that “all parties must convince the people that these elections are political and have an exclusive meaning.”

“We should try and convince the society that this is not elections of personalities, but of political teams,” she said at a meeting with journalists.

Opposition Armenian National Congress party spokesman and candidate in the current elections Arman Musinyan again raised the issue of voter lists, claiming that they had revealed the names of more than a thousand voters in the current lists who voted in the February 18 elections in the provinces. Meanwhile, he said, under the law, a citizen can be reregistered to vote in another constituency no later than six months before Election Day.

“The Republicans, using their levers of state power, in this case the passport and visa department, are engaged in voter list trickery,” said Musinyan. Representatives of the ruling party routinely deny such claims.

Members of the Mission Party, meanwhile, again were in the streets distributing campaign booklets telling about the programs of the newly established party.

While members of the political teams are conducting their campaigns, sociologist Aharon Adibekyan continues to predict that the Republican Party and its top candidate Taron Margaryan will do well in the May 5 ballot.

On Thursday Adibekyan published the analysis of the polls conducted by his center on April 20-21 showing that Taron Margaryan’s approval rating stands at 32 percent, while that of all of his rivals taken together at only 27 percent.