Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Party won a very convincing landslide victory in the Parliamentary elections receiving just over 70% of the votes.
The elections were smooth, according to the rules and regulations, and garnered the broad trust of the population, on December 9th, 2018. It was expected that Pashinyan’s Party would win the majority of the votes, because the Velvet Revolution actually changed Armenia and the gave hope to the population. And it did. Many countries and organizations (United States, France, England and others, as well OSCE) praised the democratic elections and congratulated Armenia on the occasion.
Although many individuals who held high positions or had connections with the previous ruling party were apprehended for embezzling large amounts of money, and ruining the country, Pashinyan presented several plans for the future to put Armenia on the improving scale.
Recently he spoke about raising the budget of the armed forces and improve the conditions in the armed forces as well as the economic condition of the country, which started to receive new investments from overseas. His plans also included education, healthcare, business, construction, administration, and so on, whatever a country needs. And surely, Armenia has many, many areas which need basic improvements. It cannot be done overnight, It will take some time.
Naturally, there are three major issues which all countries have – employment, raise in salaries, and eliminating (or reducing tremendously) poverty.
In this context, there is a major issue which needs immediate attention in Armenia.
Today, unfortunately, there are close to 2,500 families who still live in metal-shack “homes” (“domiks”) for the past 30 years since the devastating earthquake in Spitak, according to the Armenia Fund Executive Director of Armenia Fund, Arshag Haikakyan. Every administration promised to eliminate the metal shacks, but still there are too many.
Although apartments were built in Gyumri and in the neighborhoods and many families moved into free residences, yet some of them moved out of their free apartments, rented them to others, and they moved back into domiks. The reason is very simple. Many of those homeless people do not work and the money they receive from the government is not enough to survive and they rent their free apartments in order to have a few dollars more to survive. It is a shame that this situation exists. The government has to do something so that the families would live in their free apartments and live as much as possible a normal life.
One of the challenges the government will undertake is to eliminate extreme poverty in Armenia and significantly reduce the poverty rate,” Pashinyan said and added “we have the mandate of the citizens and must be able to solve these issues first of all by the promotion of work and creation of necessary conditions for this work.”