EXIT POLL - MECHANISM TO INFLUENCE

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08 January, 2008

"There is not logic in conducting a sociological survey in Armenia,
since the results depend on the person who orders the survey which
never reflects the reality", said politician Aghasy Yenokyan. He
considers that everyone presents already predetermined results.

"Local specialists carry out "Gelap" surveys, thus, they distort
everything. Sociology has turned to a preaching in Armenia, and that
allows us not trust in sociological surveys". We should remind that
the US Charge d'Affair offered the RA Prime Minister to conduct an
exit poll, and the latter agreed.

"Sociometer" research center has carried out an exit poll and
their results differ from official results in 10 percent. Aharon
Adibekyan, head of "Sociometer" notices that the results of an
exit poll cannot reflect the reality completely, since the survey
has certain conditions and people do not answer to the questions
frankly. "When the gap between the opposition and the main opponent
is great, there is a sense to conduct an exit poll, for example 25
percent and 50 percent difference, but when it is 51-49 percent, there
is not logic in conducting an exit poll". Aharon Adibekyan considers
that independent and neutral organizations should conduct exit polls.

According to Alexander Iskandaryan, if a certain political power
carries out the survey, it is done not for the purposes to study the
situation, but to influence on the situation. "Since political parties
are not interested in the situation on the election's day, they are
engaged in the elections, they want to know the public's opinion
before the election's day to be able to correct the strategy before
the election's day. Thus, the aim of exit poll is to influence. For
example, Sahakashvili started to celebrate his victory based on the
results of exit poll, which is not correct".

Alexander Iskandaryan prioritizes the technologies for conducting
exit polls - who conducts the survey, how it is done and where
it is done. As a rule, exit polls are implemented at available
places. "People in Yerevan and in Sisian vote differently, the
pictures vary. Thus, some may carry out the survey here, others -
there", says Alexander Iskandaryan. Summing up his opinion on the
results of exit poll, he said: "The publications of the results of
exit polls are simply mechanisms to influence on electorate".