YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian claimed to have achieved an "important turnaround" in the Armenian government’s attitudes towards ordinary citizens and pledged to prove skeptics wrong as he marked his first 100 days in power on Friday.
In a televised address to the nation issued on the occasion, Sarkisian said his three-month presidency has resulted in greater government attention to "the citizens of Armenia, their problems and hopes, their welfare, and their vision for building our newly independent country."
"I have begun implementing my [pre-election] platform, which was approved by many of you and which contains solutions to concrete and important problems. The past hundred days have shown that some of them have been implemented more quickly than we thought, while others require more time," he said without elaborating.
"I am not telling you to be patient," added Sarkisian. "Believe me, I am not patient either, and I want to see solutions to our problems such as corruption and indifference and positive results in the fight against corruption and poverty as soon as possible."
Sarkisian said that "some people" are highly skeptical about his pledges to combat corruption, strengthen the rule of law and raise living standards. "I am going to reverse their pessimism with consistent work," he said.
His prime minister, Tigran Sargsyan has been particularly vocal in publicly stressing the need to address these problems. He has described government corruption as "the number one problem facing Armenia and has initiated an overhaul of the country’s tax and customs services as part of an anti-graft campaign announced by his government.
According to Armen Rustamian, a leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the recent developmen’s have rekindled a sense of hope that there is now a political will to address Armenia’s problems.
"But More time is needed for seeing its results," he said. "Naturally, the results achieved so far do not satisfy us because a lot remains to be done."