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IRI Poll Finds Armenians Want More Democratic Development

May 23, 2006

Yerevan, Armenia – A national poll commissioned by IRI and conducted by the Gallup Organization/Baltic Surveys in coordination with the Armenian Sociological Association found that the Armenian people are optimistic about the development of the country's economy and its future in general.  However, Armenians expect more in terms of democratic development.  The issues of main concern are social-economic stability, jobs and the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh region.

A majority of Armenians expressed hope for stability and a peaceful solution for the Nagorno Karabakh problem.  A majority of those interviewed believe that the peaceful negotiations on this issue are possible and can be effective.  Environmental issues and corruption are also among the issues people identified as most important issues the country is facing.

The poll also found that Armenians have a positive impression of various international organizations, including the European Union (EU), the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO.  A majority of respondents support Armenian membership in both the EU and Commonwealth of Independent States.  Respondents single out Russia, EU (France in particular) and Iran as the closest allies for Armenia, while the main threats are perceived to be Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The poll revealed a high level of political interest among all demographic groups in contrast to other former Soviet countries where people under 30 years of age are much less interested in politics than those over 30.  As a result of the high political interest, the Armenian population is skeptical about the likelihood of free and fair elections and stresses this issue more often than voters in other countries.

The poll was conducted nationwide, interviewing 1,200 respondents in all regions of Armenia.  Interviews were conducted April 30 through May 8, 2006.  The margin of error does not exceed +/- three percent.

Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization is the Vilnius, Lithuania based office of The Gallup Organization (US).  It was established in 1992 as the first independent private public opinion and market research company in Lithuania.