The stoppage of work of Ararat Cement Company owned by the leader of Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan was assessed by many as an attempt of strike and aggravation of the social situation by Tsarukyan. Although, judging by some information, the closure may also be caused by breaches which interested the relevant bodies.
However, even if the plant stopped working under the pressure of the government, it will against cause grievance. But is there any possibility of social unrest in Armenia which could be used during the upcoming presidential election?
Only 10.3% of citizens of Armenia think their life is good and they are satisfied with their living, 3.3% lives well but they are dissatisfied, 49% live bad, though they are already used to their situation, 39.4% live bad and are dissatisfied. These are the data provided by the sociological survey on the “Index of quality of life in Armenia in 2001”, released by the information department of the government.
Actually, the government acknowledges that 50% of the population lives badly but has reconciled with it, and 40% live badly and are dissatisfied. At the same time, the bad ruling parties RPA and PAP together receive almost 80% of parliamentary seats. Either it means that the elections were rigged by 100% or that social dissatisfaction in Armenia is no longer a political category. So, there is no need to count on them anymore.
2-3 years ago when the memories of the election 2008 were still fresh and the global crisis impacted the social situation in Armenia, there was a real possibility of a social revolution. Psychologically, people could not come to terms with deterioration of the situation and still believed that it was possible to achieve policy changes by means of pressure on the government.
However, the Armenian National Congress was another nail in the coffin of the revolution in Armenia which proclaimed itself a pan-Armenian movement, the only oppositional force but its function was just to contain and mitigate social discontent and transform them to surges of steam through rallies.
No one knows how expressions of social discontent would have ended up if the Congress had run the risk to lead them. Perhaps, it could have led to overthrow of the government, new elections and new leaders, or maybe also blood sharing. But repression of social discontent killed the only institution that was able to achieve change of government.
Now the society is trying to rehabilitate social revolt through local civil activities setting forth legal claims. But just like political parties are unable to do without the social platform, so is the civil movement unable to do without potential social revolt.
This institution has been killed systematically by the ruling parties and opposition. Now that they may need it, they will have nothing to rely on. Serzh Sargsyan cannot expect that people will turn away from Gagik Tsarukyan if his plants close down. Tsarukyan himself cannot expect that people will attack the president’s office with scythes and reinforcement rods if they are left jobless. People just follow the path of their fellow village people leading them out of the country. Most importantly, the opposition cannot rely on social revolt. However, the Congress has already admitted that it does not have sufficient mobilization resource for change of government.
The society may wake up only when someone who decided to lead the social revolt appears who will be legitimate. No force has upheld social revolt so far, even the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, as people’s constitutional right to change government.
And we are going to float in the fairway of choice between the bad and the worse which are imposed on us by the Armenian presidents.