YEREVAN/March 25 (The Bulletin) — Just over two months before what is likely to be a fractious and bitter parliamentary election, Armenia’s government doubled the salary of policemen.
Opposition politicians have said that the pay rise is a cynical use of public funds by the government which wants to secure the loyalty of the police ahead of likely street protests. The government said that police forces were overdue a pay rise and that it would lead to an increase in the number of people signing up as police recruits, and also an improvement in their quality.
Thousands of protesters have been calling for PM Nikol Pashinyan to resign since Armenia lost a war to Azerbaijan for control of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Media reported that a policeman in Armenia with roughly five years of experience currently earns around $375/month.
Armenia will hold a parliamentary election on June 20.
>> This story was first published in issue 477 of the weekly Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin