06/22/2021, 12.01
ARMENIA
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Yerevan, Pašinyan wins early elections

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Civil Accord, his party, got 53.9%.  Former president Robert Kočaryan denounces fraud.  The outgoing premier invokes the "dictatorship of the law";  he could form an autonomous government.  Support from Russia, the US, the EU and Iran.

 

 

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Outgoing Prime Minister Nikol Pašinyan won a landslide and surprising victory in the parliamentary elections on 20 June in Armenia.  According to official data made public yesterday, his "Civil Agreement" party obtained 53.9% of the votes, such as to guarantee him the possibility of autonomously forming the new government.  The "Ayastan" bloc, led by former president Robert Kočaryan has stopped at 21%, although its leader has already announced that he wants to contest the results of the electoral count.

All the other 23 parties and electoral lists won less than 7%, the minimum threshold for obtaining seats, even if the law provides for the obligation to represent at least three candidates from the competing lists.  In this way, the "I have dignity" block of Artur Vanetsyan should also find a place in Parliament.  The recovery of the republican party "Patria" of ex-president Serž Sargsyan, the great enemy of Pašinyan, is in question, which stopped at 5.2% (for individual parties the minimum share is 5%).  The participation of the voters was less than half of those entitled (49.4%), but still higher than expected.

Pašinyan, still in office as acting premier, addressed the Armenians with a speech of thanks for the victory: "The people of Armenia chose him, the content is clear.  What we expected has happened, the ordinary citizen wins, and we have won ”.  The prime minister thus recalled the reason for the "flower revolution" of 2019, which had brought him to leadership of the country, relying on the "people of citizens" against the institutions of corrupt and politicians "in the pay" of foreign powers.  Voters confirmed that they did not like the return of previous regimes.

The head of government declared that consultations will begin immediately "with all the healthy forces of the country that took part in the elections, to understand the possibilities of national consolidation and reconciliation".  “Representatives of trade, culture and science will be invited to cooperate with the government for the solution of the problems that have arisen before us.  Our mandate is for the dictatorship of law and law, it is the people who gave it to us ”.

In his speech, Pašinyan thanked the presidents of the US and France, the leaders of the European Union, the Iranian president and the prime minister of Georgia, who supported Armenia's reasons after the recent conflict with Azerbaijan.  He also wished the achievement of "stability in the whole region" around the Armenian borders.  There was also a greeting to the Armenian president of Nagorno Karabakh, Araik Arutjunyan, "with the conviction that together we will be able to defend our national interests".

No news agencies had predicted the victory of the outgoing premier, which the polls gave between 20 and 25% against 30-35% of the Kočaryan block.  The winner is just a whisker away from obtaining an absolute majority of the seats, which is conferred with 54% of the votes;  however, we will have to wait for the redistribution of the votes conferred on the parties that have remained below the minimum threshold for entry into Parliament, which together make up almost 20% of the votes cast.

Pašinyan therefore confirmed himself as the most popular leader, gathering support especially in the countryside and provinces, and exceeding 50% even in the province of Siunyk, where he had recently been greeted with a launch of eggs and protests for the subsidence of the war actions of 'Azerbaijan.  In the capital Civil settlement obtained 41%, against 28% of the Kočaryan list.  The latter spoke in a generic way of "problems to be verified" in the electoral count, reserving the right to accept the results, but the chances of an overturning of the results appear to be quite small.  The many foreign observers, including several Russians, did not report particular infringements in the voting procedures, and Moscow has already given signs of acceptance of the results.

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