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February 18
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The historical realities and the subjective factors need to be taken into account in order to understand the peculiarities of Armenia’s elections, PM Tigran Sargsyan stated Tuesday in Brussels, addressing the European People’s Party Political Assembly session. 

“First, Armenia is a small country with limited resources. [And] It is not a coincidence that virtually one-third of Armenia’s population is below the poverty level,” he said. 

“We have a mere twenty-year history of building and developing democratic institutions. At the same time, we had an unprecedented economic crisis and a war was forced upon us in the very first years of this twenty-year history.      

We commenced our movement toward democracy while having inefficient and stagnant state governance institutions inherited from the Soviet era; they generate corruption risks, too. And it is not a coincidence that the corruption perception indicator is very high among Armenia’s society.   

We must also factor in the peculiarity of the political culture of Armenia’s people, which [i.e., the peculiarity] likewise bears the seal of the authoritarian Soviet past. Even though our people’s political culture underwent a tremendous transformation, they still bear manifestations that are contradictory to democratic development.   

So, having such load of unfavorable factors, our government took on the commitment of holding elections, which would have qualitatively differed from the previous ones held in our country,” said the PM.  

He added that Armenia’s authorities are aware of the need to take measures toward eliminating the existing shortfalls to the utmost and prior to the 2013 presidential elections in the country.

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