YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–With only one day to go before his resignation, President Robert Kocharian delivered a farewell address to the nation on Tuesday, saying that Armenia has become one of the world’s fastest developing countries during his decade-long rule.
“Progress in the country’s modernization is obvious, and the life of citizens has improved considerably,” Kocharian said in a televised speech. “There are few countries in the world whose pace of development is comparable to Armenia’s.”
“At the same time, it is obvious that a lot remains to be done. The quality of life is still far from a desirable level,” he said.
According to official statistics, the Armenian economy expanded at a double-digit rate for the sixth consecutive year in 2007.
“I apologize to those whose life has not improved during these years; To those whose expectations have not been lived up to, whose dreams have not been realized,” said Kocharian.
The outgoing president insisted at the same time that he has done his best to ease the plight of many Armenia’s impoverished following the Soviet collapse. “I have worked with a tight schedule and saved no effort,” he said. “At least, I have fulfilled all the promises that I gave to voters.”