Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia, casts his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary elections. Photo: Lusi Sargsyan / PHOTOLURE / AP / dpa
That came from the counting of the first ballot papers, as the election control in the capital Yerevan announced on Monday night. According to this, after evaluating the votes in over two-thirds of the polling stations, the 46-year-old Pashinyan led with his party civil contract with just under 57 percent. The 66-year-old Kocharyan with his Armenia bloc, on the other hand, was just under 19 percent, according to the electoral commission in Yerevan.
Pashinyan celebrated a “convincing majority” in front of his supporters early this morning. After the “severe trials” of the recent past, the time for “social and national unity” has now come.
On the other hand, it was reported from Kocharian’s electoral team that the interim results were “not very credible”. Much point to election fraud, it was said.
From Moscow’s point of view, a success of Pashinyan is a guarantee that the ceasefire agreement concluded under Russia’s mediation with Azerbaijan around the conflict region Nagorno-Karabakh will hold. The opposition complained of numerous election violations on Sunday. Election day itself was peaceful.
The ceasefire agreement came into force on November 9th after a 44-day war. It also stipulates the stationing of 2,000 Russian peacekeepers. More than 6,500 people were killed in the fighting on both sides. Armenia had also lost control of large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, celebrated itself as the winner after retaking the territories.
Pashinyan had called the early parliamentary elections under the pressure of long opposition protests. Several parties blamed the head of government for the defeat, the loss of territory and the many deaths. The former journalist had always refused to resign and said he wanted to lead the country out of the crisis himself.
There were 21 parties and 4 blocs in the vote – more than ever before. After counting the first votes, most of them clearly missed the necessary 5 percent hurdle for parties and the 7 percent hurdle for blocks to enter parliament.
The election will be monitored by experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). You had recently rated the votes as largely fair and free. The observers want to give their verdict this Monday. The turnout was around 50 percent. (SDA)