Armenia: Nikol Pashinyan wins quick polls | Election News
Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, announced his victory in the parliamentary elections he convened to resolve the political crisis following the disastrous war with Azerbaijan.
On Monday, 75% of the results were announced, and Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party won 55.61% of the vote. According to data from the Central Election Commission (CEC), the electoral coalition of his main rival, former President Robert Kocharyan, received 20% of the vote.
The voter turnout rate is about 50%, and about 2.6 million people are eligible to vote.
Pashinyan said earlier on Monday: “The Armenian people have authorized our Civil Contract Party to lead this country, and I personally lead this country as prime minister.”
“We already know that we won a convincing victory in the election, and we will get a convincing majority in Parliament,” he added.
However, Kocharyan’s group questioned the credibility of the preliminary results and said it would not recognize Pashinyan’s rapid victory, when only 30% of the electoral districts were counted.
The European Union said in a statement: “Hundreds of signals from polling stations prove that organized and planned fraud is a serious cause of lack of trust,” the group said in a statement, adding that in the study ” It will not “acknowledge” the result before “violation.”
Earlier on Sunday evening, the Attorney General’s Office stated that it had received 319 reports of violations. It said it had launched six criminal investigations, all of which involved bribery during the election campaign.
Experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are monitoring the elections, and the organization recently assessed that voting was basically fair and free. They will make an overall verdict on Monday.
The pre-election polls brought the two parties together. Although a record number of four electoral groups and 21 political parties participated in the election, only a few people are expected to win parliamentary seats.
Six Day War
Pashinyan called for a quick poll to try to end a political crisis that the Armenian army failed in a six-week war with Azerbaijan last year and ceded the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its surroundings After the area broke out. According to the latest official data from Armenia and Azerbaijan, more than 6,500 people were killed in the war.
Pahinyan has since been under pressure, and regular street protests demanded that he step down on the terms of the peace agreement that ended the conflict. According to an agreement facilitated by Russia, Azerbaijan regained control of the territories it lost in the war in the early 1990s. Pashinyan himself called the agreement a disaster, but said he was forced to sign the agreement to prevent greater loss of personnel and territory.
From Moscow’s point of view, Pashinyan is the guarantor that the agreement will continue to be effective. This includes the deployment of approximately 2,000 Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Arsen Kharatyan, Pashinyan’s former adviser, told Al Jazeera that the result gave the acting prime minister the opportunity to form a government, “thus stopping internal political unrest.”
“Now, how will you handle the situation in Armenia? From a larger perspective, the security architecture in the region has not changed much since the war. Russia will still be the main player in all of this. So no matter who comes to power. , Will have to deal directly with Moscow,” Kharatyan said, adding that Sunday’s vote also showed that none of the parties running on the “pro-Western agenda” received enough votes.
Armenia, which owns a Russian military base, is a close ally of Moscow, although Pashinyan, who came to power on the street protests and on the anti-corruption agenda in 2018, has a colder relationship with the Kremlin.
Turkey, which supported Azerbaijan in last year’s conflict, will also pay close attention to the election.
On Sunday, in the streets of Yerevan, Armenians expressed conflicting views on Pashinyan.
Voter Anahit Sargsyan said that the prime minister who took the lead in launching peaceful protests against corrupt elites in 2018 should have another chance.
She said she was afraid of returning from the old guards she accused of plundering the country.
The 63-year-old former teacher said: “I voted against returning to the old way.”
Another voter, Vardan Hovhannisyan, stated that he had voted for Kocharyan, who called Russian leader Vladimir Putin his friend.
The 41-year-old musician said: “I voted for safe borders, social unity, the return of our prisoners of war, the well-being of the wounded, and a strong army.”
Kocharyan from Karabakh accused the Armenian leader of doing nothing in the war last year and promised to start negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh border if he comes to power.
Kocharyan served as President of Armenia from 1998 to 2008, and was accused of acting illegally when a state of emergency was introduced in March 2008 after a disputed election.
In the ensuing clashes between police and protesters, at least 10 people were killed.