YEREVAN—According to a poll conducted last month, 95 percent of respondents in Armenia have said that they approved of the demonstrations that were staged earlier this summer on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan, and against the decision to raise the price of electricity tariffs in the country.
The results come from a survey conducted by the Gallup International Association Armenia Office. The survey was conducted in Yerevan and in various provinces from July 6 through 13, with 1,106 respondents.
Director of the Gallup Armenia Office, Aram Navasardyan, released at a press conference on Friday.
According to the poll, 73 percent of respondents gave a “definitely positive” assessment to the protesters’ decision to close off the avenue, while 22 percent said they considered the decision “rather positive.” Only 2 percent assessed the protests rather or definitely negatively. One percent of the respondents were undecided.
Separately, 15 percent of the respondents said they participated in the demonstrations—which were primarily staged in Yerevan and Gyumri. Another 7 percent said they took part in these protests via the Internet, including by submitting complaints on social networking websites.
“[This is] not a bad result,” stated Navasardyan. “[But] we were expecting the percentage of online protesters to be higher.”
Additionally, 90 percent of Armenians do not think Electric Yerevan was staged by external forces, according to the poll. They said to have believed the protests were nothing but self-organized movements of ordinary citizens, the survey shows.
Only two percent of respondents said that the rallies were organized by external forces, said Navasardyan.
Another two percent of respondents said the actions were staged by political forces inside Armenia for populist purposes, while again two percent of the survey participants said they believed the rallies were organized by authorities to divert attention.
When asked what they thought would justify a decision to block Baghramyan Avenue, 92 percent of respondents named social issues, 28 percent cited political struggle, and 3 percent were undecided.
More than 60 percent of Armenian respondents did not believe that relations with Russia may deteriorate because of the behavior of the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), according to Gallop’s poll.
Navasardyan also said that 31 percent of respondents thought the impact of the developments at the ENA was “rather bad,” while 6 percent believed it was “very bad.” 9 percent of participants in the survey believed that it would have no effect, while 19 percent of respondents said that the impact was “rather positive.” 1 percent said they thought the developments at the ENA were “very positive.”
When asked how they thought the efficiency of the ENA could be improved, 70 percent said nationalization was the best option. 12 percent believed that the ENA should be managed by another company, while 11 percent said were sure the company just needs to assign more effective leaders.
The Electric Yerevan protests in Yerevan continued from June 20 till July 6.