“The Image of a Political or State Figure in the Perception of the Armenian Society”
Last week, Hakob Hakobyan, Chairman of the RA NA Standing Committee on Health Care and Social Affairs, member of the RPA faction, told the Zhoghovurd Daily, “The poor spend little, and consequently, the increase of prices brings to the fact that the poor will have to spontaneously avoid expensive goods. The state policy is that if inflation can hit the poor, they should be protected. Now there is no need for the state to address it. Poor people have the habit of avoiding buying expensive goods.”

Another member of the same faction, Khosrov Harutyunyan, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Assembly, was trying to defend his colleague's view. “Families who use only potatoes cannot buy meat.”

The aforementioned statements by the ruling party representatives have caused discontent in social networks and the media, even petitioning to seize Hakob Hakobyan from his parliamentary mandate.

Some current and former MPs representing the Republican Party often come across controversial statements, even with statements that cross the line of ethics and are threats of violence.

During the discussion entitled “The Image of a Political or State Figure in the Perception of the Armenian Society” held at Media Center on December 12, Hranush Kharatyan, Ethnographer, referring to what Hakob Hakobyan said, mentions that first of all, it is the concern that through the MP, the authorities inform that the state has nothing to do with the poor, which accounts for about 30 percent of the population.

“I suppose that there was a discussion within the RPA regarding this particular case, there was a decision that the government and the state do not have to deal with the poor. This man simply publicized that decision,” Hranush Kharatyan said, adding that we do not have universal characters but we have odious characters.

“However, these odious characters are not as many as MPs who do not appear to us at all. I am not sure that they are aware of anything, I am not sure they know the Armenian alphabet because I have not heard their word. The press has managed to find some of their texts, which, to put it mildly, are not even on school level. They are an amount, they are out of us and they press a button and decide our destiny.”

Avetik Ishkhanyan, Head of the Helsinki Committee of Armenia, touching upon the topic, observed it in several dimensions, the first of which is the low-level approach of our society, and after the posting people seem to be transformed:

“When it seems to somebody that he has succeeded, has reached a certain position, he changes completely, it seems to him that he knows everything, does not often notice the surroundings, and so on. However, they are subordinate to higher positions. There is no clarity, which is a very important issue.”

On the other hand, according to the speaker, the government has long been cut off from the public and can not imagine what is happening in the lower layers.

Avetik Ishkhanyan also notes that such phenomena are also the result of the authorities, regardless of their will to sincerity.

“They make such statements unwillingly and do not even understand that it can have a negative impact on their ratings. They are spared of public opinion. On the other hand, there are no internal democracies in our parties, so the party members of that particular figure should defend him, even though they say another nonsense. They imagine that the state is themselves, they do not consider the poor as a part of the state but consider the object to be used. Our statesmen can not imagine what the state is.”

The speakers also drew attention to the fact that there is no ideological debate in Armenia, and the opposition and the government speak to the public in the same language. In Avetik Ishkhanyan's opinion, if there was a left-wing mentality in Armenia, socialist ideology would have changed the situation.

“Today's Europe, which has become a social state, starting with the Scandinavian countries, is due to social-democratic parties and trade union movements. We do not have that idea, all our parties are pseudo-liberal parties.”

To watch the video, follow the link.  

Derenik Malkhasyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email toderenikmalkhasian@gmail.com.

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