Opp Candidates in Armenia Slam US-Funded Opinion Poll re Low Ratings

Global Insight
December 28, 2007

Opposition Candidates in Armenia Slam U.S.-Funded Opinion Poll over
Low Ratings

by Natalia Leshchenko

Three Armenian opposition leaders–Artur Baghdasarian, Levon
Ter-Petrosian, and Vazgen Manukian–have deplored the electoral
opinion poll conducted with support by the U.S. government as
fraudulent. The poll, held in Armenia for the first time, started
with the commencement of the election campaign. It was offered by the
U.S. government as a part of its "off-the-peg" packet of measures
designed to ensure the democratic nature of elections in countries
with dubious democratic records. The poll is designed by the
renounced Gallup organisation and is intended to serve as a backdrop
to the official results of the presidential election to be held in
February 2008. So far, the polls have highlighted Prime Minister
Serzh Sarkisian’s clear lead with an approval rating of 35%.
Baghdasarian is some way behind with 13%, and Ter-Petrosian even
further with just 3%.

Significance:On the surface, the opposition’s challenge to what is
intended to be means of support for them is highly ironic. If the
polls are correct, they highlight the opposition forces’ political
marginalisation–a wider tendency in the CIS region that Global
Insight has pointed to in its report. There is a possibility,
however, that these polls are biased, with opposition leaders
doubting their quality and claiming that they are conducted that they
are conducted by government supporters. In any case, bringing into
question the quality of the polls has already discredited them as a
means of support for the opposition, and as such has undermined their
value.

You may also like