Corruption Questions in Armenian Election Study 2017

In March 2017, prior to early April Parliamentary Elections in Armenia, TCPA conducted an Armenian Election Study. The purpose of study was to assess the voter behavior in Armenia. The study aimed at examining public perceptions and attitudes towards political processes in the country, with the overall aim of developing a “portrait” of a post-Soviet voter. The method for the country representative study was a phone survey through a random generation of phone numbers with population, targeting the capital and the regions of Armenia. A total of 1,062 interviews were completed. The study was conducted in partnership with a doctoral candidate at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The survey consisted of various sections, including economic perceptions, political attitudes, gender, politics and corruption.

The following paragraph provides the analysis of the two survey questions related to corruption. One of the survey questions was replicated from the Armenia Household Corruption Survey conducted by Caucasus Research Resource Centers in Armenia in 2008-2010. The question applied the following wording: “to the best of your knowledge, which of the following is most often the case when someone ends up paying a bribe to a governmental employee?” The respondents were asked to select one of the answer-options provided. In answering the question: 20.2% of respondents said “a government employee indicates or asks for payment”, 24.2% replied “the household offers a payment of its own accord”, and 25% of respondents said “it is known beforehand how to pay and how much to pay, so it is not discussed” (note: 25.8% said they don’t know; two answers missing). The data shows that according to public perceptions, although both the giver and the taker of the bribe hold the blame, it is interesting that more people think it is actually the household offering the payment in their own accord. Sadly, the data shows that the most frequent answer (after “I don’t know”) refers to the established in the culture norm of giving bribes, namely that the methods and amounts of bribes are beforehand known to people, making the subject unnecessary to discuss.

The second question was related to electoral corruption: “have you ever been offered material benefits in exchange for your vote?” The question was asked in general, whether during any of elections throughout their lifetime people were asked to accept a material benefit for their vote. Out of 1,062 respondents 16.4% said yes (79.9% said no). It is interesting to highlight that people were honest enough to admit they have been offered material benefits in exchange for their vote. The visual representation of both answers is provided below.

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