YEREVAN (Realist English). Time and events make us look at many things in a new way, have a new attitude towards many things, recognize many things and, why not, learn a lot. The face of Yerevan is in danger today, and the reason for this is the lack of compassionate attitude towards Yerevan, its inhabitants and its problems. There is a lack of culture in our city: lack of culture to live, build, manage, understand people, make people happy, create good, communicate, respect culture, lack of sociability. The result is what we have: a disfigured city, people alienated from each other, a culture alienated from society, alienated in the direct and indirect sense… Based on this concern, after long deliberation, I have decided to participate in the elections of the Yerevan Council of Elders.
I have a vision and a program that I am going to present to my future voters, not as a populist lecture, but as a practical and working anti-crisis program. It is the vision of a comfortable city, a city that has real attraction, an accessible and listening government. I should say immodestly that the Yerevan development plan I have is called the Victory plan. It is a set of visionary and practical steps of concrete measures: from Center to Ajapnyak, from Nor Nork to Nubarashen, from Shengavit to Malatia-Sebastia, etc. It includes all areas of the city economy, considering the ultimate goal to have a comfortable city, suitable for living, creating, working and relaxing. That plan has the following logic: Yerevan should be a sociable city. Our Party’s and my program is aimed at this. In general, our vision is as follows:
- Competitive city
- Safe city
- Mobile city
- Comfortable city
- A healthy and socially developed city
- Educated and cultural city
- Active and participating city
We must implement this plan together with the people of Yerevan, hand in hand, conveying our thoughts to each other, sharing our worries, respecting and appreciating each other.
I want to emphasize that participating in the elections of the Yerevan Council of Elders is not only a political decision, but also an urban one. Even in the case of participating in a Party, I ask you to consider my actions not only in the political, but especially in the urban plain. Because first of all, it is necessary to choose a municipal government, not a political one. Therefore, it is not important for me under which government the upcoming elections of the Yerevan Council of Elders will take place. My only destination and target are city issues, and my decision is based solely on city interests, not political interests. The goal of all candidates should be the city, not politics. Otherwise, the city becomes a political tool, city transport becomes a political promise, and the city street becomes a path to enter politics.
I have like-minded people, supporters and of course friends who are by my side no matter what the result of the elections is. With their support, and, why not, at their urging I initiated the “Victory” Party. There are no other political forces behind me or on my side. With me are individuals and personalities, people who have something to say and do, have a vision for the future of Yerevan. I am one of the thousands or millions of Yerevan citizens. But I will strive to be one of the many named who wants to become one of the few chosen ones.
Unfortunately, Yerevan has enemies because ․․․․․ Yerevan is a kind city. Also, Yerevan has opponents, opponents of Yerevan’s development. First of all, they are the people who seem to know everything about city management, but in reality, it is quite the opposite. The enemy of Yerevan’s development is indifference, tolerance for illegalities, populism, lack of understanding of urban problems and therefore not finding appropriate solutions or finding wrong solutions… We can list for a long time, but let’s stop and state that Yerevan needs friends, not opponents.
Whoever is the mayor of Yerevan, Yerevan should be such a city where the first owner of the city is the citizen, and then only the city government chosen by him, not the other way around…Yerevan should have a person who sees everything and does not turn a blind eye to anything, a person listening and capable of drawing conclusions from what he heard, a city government and a mayor, for whom the position is not a burden, nor is he the bearer of the position. Regarding your question, if we imagine the conventional “photo robot” of the future mayor of Yerevan, he should be a person endowed with management skills and organizational abilities, who also has relevant knowledge about city management, he loves the city not by his position, but by his nature. Municipal administration should not be used for political purposes. Today there is an opportunity to change the situation, but for this it is necessary to do a lot of work. And we are ready for that work.
Yerevan is first and foremost the Motherland of all Armenians, and this is binding, which is like a precious mosaic, piece by piece, in each and every one of us… If we express ourselves in one generalizing sentence, I will repeat: Yerevan should be a sociable city. Yerevan is all of us: you, me, your neighbor, your relative, your acquaintance and stranger, all those who are close to Yerevan, all those whose heart aches for Yerevan. The citizens of Yerevan should participate in the solution of the city’s problems.
Victor Mnatsakanyan — candidate for mayor of Yerevan