Out of five local Sakrebulo candidates in the village Shahumian, Marneuli region, two are Armenians and three – Georgians. Four poll stations are working in the village. One of the precinct’s commission deputy chair Mariam Tetunashvill confirms that the elections are going well, without any incidents. The village where 80 percent of population is comprised of Armenians has a lot of issues but with the coming of the new elections the old promises are being forgotten.
“The village Shahumian is like an orphan, it has no parents” that is how 80 years old Seyran Paronyan describes the village. He has no big expectations from the local government elections, as the promises are always remains as promises.
“It was very good during the Comunism years, I worked in three places. Now I get pension, and this is hardly enough for bread” says Seyran
Previously Shahumian used to have 11 thousand population and now only 3500 are left. As Seyran Paronian says, there are only old people.
“The village is nice, but there are no jobs. The only solution is to open work places for the development of the village and for prevention of the migration” says the precinct’s commission deputy chair of 71 Gerasim Avetisyan.
“I have a son, and it is already fourteen years that I haven’t seen him, as he left for Ukraine to work and live, but his condition is not good enough to help us” says Seyran.
“The President Saakashvili promises work places, but nothing has been done. Let’s see, what would do our candidates after being elected”, Gerasim says.
One of the main problems of the village is that, they have no gas though there is a gas pipe-line crossing their territory to the Khikhany, when the refugees from South- Ossetia have been settled there, as the result of Georgian- South-Ossetia war. Still government has no certain solution for it; the inhabitants of the village go on with electricity, waiting for the new government for some changes.
It’s amazing but one rarely can meet a woman in the streets. As Nelli Nurinyan, teacher of the villige school N3 says, they have no works so they always stay at home. 500 pupils of the village do not have much to do. They have music school, and recently-opened sports and computer classes. After graduating from the school few of them continue their education, and those who do, either go to Armenia or Russia.
«The reason is not knowing the Georgian language. Before the level of the language was very low, but now teachers from Tbilisi has been sent to teach children, and so we also learn with them», Nelli Nurinyan says.
Being on the borders of two countries, Armenia and Georgia, the villige lacks access to information badly. They don’t have Georgian TV and Radio broadcasting or get newspapers. Only those who have satelite dishes can watch Georgian channels.
Anna Karamyan Tamara Hakobian