On the Armenian Elections

Only three political parties succeeded in entering the parliament of Armenia during the snap parliamentary elections held on December 9. Political alliance “My step” led by Armenia’s revolutionary Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan celebrated a triumphal victory receiving the 70,43% of the votes. The prosperous Armenia party lead by billionaire Gagik Tsarukyan came second, receiving 8.27% of the votes. Former partner of Pashinyan from the alliance “Way out” Bright Armenia party got only 6.37%.

However, according to the constitution of the country opposition parties of the parliament receive at least 30% of the seats of Parliament.

The former ruling Republican party was close to the minimum level of 5% of the votes but received 4.70% and thus will be out of the parliament together with its partner in the coalition, Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Dashnakcutyun for the next five years.

Observers from leading European election-monitoring organizations such as Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), etc, named the elections "democratic" and stated they did not witness any serious irregularities or violations of the law.

In a joint statement released on December, 10, they underlined the “general absence of electoral malfeasance, including of vote buying and pressure on voters”.

Heidi Hautala, a European Parliament member, likewise stated that there were “minimum irregularities” in Sunday’s vote, unlike in the previous Armenian parliamentary elections that were held in April 2017 and also monitored by her.

Overall, 11 parties took part in the elections four of which were formed just weeks before the elections. Two of the main opposition parties opposing Serzh Sargsyan during his presidency, the Armenian National Congress Party lead by the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosian (1991-1998), and the Heritage party lead by the former foreign affairs minister Raffi Hovhannisyan, decided not to take part in the parliamentary elections. The gunmen who seized the police station in Yerevan in 2016 July formed their own party called “Sasna Tsrer” and ran in the elections but received only 1.80% of the votes.

All parties participating in the elections recognized the official results of the elections. These were the first snap parliamentary elections in Armenia since 1991, and the first parliamentary elections whose results were recognized by all the participants of the race.

This was indeed the final stage of Armenian Velvet Revolution which forced the government of Serzh Sargsyan to resign in April this year. The republican party of Armenia, which had monopolized the political life of the country since 1998 will not be represented in Parliament.

Now Pashinyan has a constitutional majority in the parliament and as he said there are no more obstacles for starting an “economic revolution” in Armenia.

By Karen Tovmasyan

Image source: Abaka News

11 December 2018 21:08