The war with neighboring Azerbaijan rocked Armenia last year. Protests against Prime Minister Pashinyan followed. But it was able to assert itself in the parliamentary election.
In the early parliamentary elections in Armenia, the head of government Nikol Pashinyan, who was under massive pressure, asserted his power. According to the preliminary results, his party civil contract received 53.92 percent of the vote. She ended up well ahead of the Armenia block of Pashinyan’s toughest challenger Robert Kocharyan, who came to 21.04 percent. Pashinyan said on Monday that his party would have a majority in parliament and form a government again – “led by me”. Ex-President Kocharyan, on the other hand, doubted the outcome of Sunday’s election.
Pashinyan had preferred the choice after he had come under increasing criticism. Opponents blamed the Prime Minister, who has been in office since 2018, for the outcome of the six-week war against Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region last year. The fighting ended in a Russia-brokered ceasefire that returned Azerbaijan control of areas it had lost in a war in the early 1990s. While Azerbaijan was celebrating itself as the winner, Pashinyan was increasingly confronted with calls for resignation and street protests in his own country.
Kocharyan doubts election results
With the new election, the 46-year-old wanted to end the political crisis. Opinion polls, however, had indicated a head-to-head race between his party and the Armenia bloc. According to a report by the Interfax news agency, Kocharyan’s alliance sees the results now presented as contradicting “the processes of public life that we have observed over the past eight months”.
The RIA reported that there were 319 reports of irregularities in the election. According to Interfax, the Central Election Commission (CEC) stated that the vote was largely in accordance with the legal norms. CEC observers considered the election to be open and fair.
The OSCE also sees no evidence of manipulation. The election campaign was fair and free. Norwegian observer Kari Henriksen from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Monday in the Armenian capital Yerevan that the fundamental rights of the voters were respected in a polarized environment. The OSCE observers stressed that the authorities managed the vote on Sunday professionally in accordance with international law. OSCE monitors said it was up to the Armenian authorities to investigate reported violations. The official final result should be available in a week.