Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The pre-election period in Yerevan is winding down to about four days, with tension between the major players occasionally turning violent, all this making news in the Armenian media, while regular Yerevantsis’ lives remain in a limbo of sorts.

“If you have dollars or Euros, don’t change them to dram now,” a neighbor said. “They’re keeping everything stable now, but after May 31, the exchange rates will change dramatically, they’ll declare the dollar stronger…then it will be a good time to change your money to dram.”

A friend told about his change of heart concerning the ruling “Hanrapetakan” party. “I’ve always voted for Hanrapetakan. But it’s no longer the party of Ashot Navasartyan or Andranik Margaryan. Now, there’s no respect for the common man, or the rule of law, by party leaders. Take for instance the government spending millions of dram to send the Kilikia ship around the world again. When pensioners are getting such a meager amount, how can they justify spending all that money on another Kilikia journey? And now they’ve put the ship at the base of the Madenataran, for their crazy ‘stars’ to have another concert, probably using the ship as a stage. And it’s pretty obvious to most that they put the ship where they did so that after the election, which is no doubt fixed, the opposition won’t be able to protest in their usual location. This is an old trick of theirs, arranging concerts at places they know demonstrations are going to take place.”

In our neighborhood in Ajapnyak, people are taking advantage of local government officials looking for votes, making quiet arrangements to construct small car garages on land they don’t own, for instance the 3-4 garages that have gone up in record speed in the past couple of weeks…not to mention the street lights that are being put up near our home, with local residents standing and smiling as they watch city workers hurrying to ‘beautify’ and ‘improve’ their neighborhood with new lights, phone lines, etc.

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