The ARF And Republican Party: Campaign Promises Range From Free Apar

THE ARF AND REPUBLICAN PARTY: CAMPAIGN PROMISES RANGE FROM FREE APARTMENTS TO JOB CREATION
Grisha Balasanyan

hetq
10:40, April 11, 2012

It goes without saying that in the run-up to the May parliamentary
elections in Armenia, the political parties are making a number of
campaign promises to the voters.

As in past elections, what voters are mostly interested to hear are
the pledges the parties are making in the social sector – education,
health, pensions, employment, etc.

What follows is a summary of some of the more interesting aspects of
the campaign pledges being made by the ARF and the Republican Party
of Armenia in this regard.

The ARF’s election campaign focuses more on the social sector.

It sees the elimination of poverty by 2012 as a major priority,
coupled with the creation of a vibrant middle class and guaranteeing
a more comfortable living standard.

The ARF pledges to set the average old-age pension at 63,000 AMD,
more than doubling the current 31,255 amount.

The party proposes to cut unemployment by creating 200,000 new jobs
and raise the hourly minimum employment rate from 196 AMD to 400 AMD.

The ARF promises to increase the hourly wages of those working in the
national security and defense sectors, the police and health fields.

They say the average monthly salary will be 500,000AMD ($1,288).

The party pledges to make all pre-school education free in Armenia
and to raise the average monthly salaries of sector staff to 110,000
($283).

The ARF says it wants to institute serious reforms in the health
sector by allocating 150,000 AMD to each citizen for medical costs,
up from the current 63,000.

The party says it will allocate shelter to 5,000-6,000 needy families
in Armenia and will freeze utility rates for the next five years.

The ARF says it will allocate apartments to families with five or
more children at no cost.

The party plans to tackle the country’s demographic problem and raise
the average growth rate by 50,000 annually.

In contrast, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) makes
no quantitative pledges but affirms that changes will be made to
eradicate social inequality.

In this context the RPA says it will provide free education and
employment opportunities to destitute strata of society than are
able to work. Those not employable will be targeted with additional
assistance.

The RPA pledges to continue with implementing compensation for those
who had deposited money in the Soviet Union’s Economy Bank up till
1993.

The party says it will not only expand the current “Accessible
Apartments” and “Apartments for Young Families” programs, but will
subsidize new credit instruments for young people to assist with
education related and other social issues.

It says that it will continue to raise old-age pensions and state
assistance to families with three or more children. The party doesn’t
disclose any figures regarding these increases.

The RPA says it will focus more on preventative health measures and
promises to create a health insurance scheme for the neediest segments
of society.

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