Published: Tue, December 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Armenian Reformist Leader Wins by Landslide in Early Parliamentary Elections

Armenian Reformist Leader Wins by Landslide in Early Parliamentary Elections

The statistics from the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Armenia showed that the party, led by caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, won 70.43 percent of the votes.

The Armenian police have received 144 reports of suspected irregularities during the Sunday snap parliamentary elections, the chief of the inspection department of the country's police said.

Pashinyan, 43, became prime minister in May after weeks of anti-government protests that forced the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who was also a former president of Armenia. But the move was blocked by the former ruling Republican Party, which dominated the parliament.

There is no turnout threshold, however, to enter the parliament, a party must secure more than 5 percent of the vote and alliances must get over 7 percent.

"Eleven political forces were running in elections, including two blocs - Im Kayl "(My Step) and Menk (We) - as well as nine parties - Prosperous Armenia, National Progress, Christian Democratic Revival, Sasna Tsrer, Rule of Law, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Bright Armenia, the Republican Party of Armenia, Citizen's Decision Social-Democratic Party.

Under the new Constitution, Armenia is a parliamentary Republic, and the citizens hope that the National Assembly elected after the "velvet revolution", to justify their hopes. "My Step" has a lower rating, but maintaining this rating provides an opportunity for serious possible changes in politics and the economy", Alexander Markarov noted.

More than 2.57 million registered voters are expected to cast their ballots at 2,010 polling stations across the country from 8 am (0400 GMT) to 8 pm (1600 GMT), according to the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Sunday.

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Previous elections have been marred by accusations of fraud but Pashinyan had last week promised "the best elections Armenia has ever seen".

Analysts say Pashinyan sought new elections at the peak of his popularity.

Parliamentary elections held in Armenia this weekend respected fundamental freedoms and were characterized by genuine competition, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement on Monday.

In September, his bloc scored a landslide victory in municipal elections, winning more than 80 per cent of the vote in the capital Yerevan, where almost 40 per cent of the former Soviet Republic's population lives.

He stepped down in October so parliament could be dissolved ready for the early election, but remained the acting prime minister.

The parliament can have at least 101 MPs and a final number of seats will be defined following the election results.

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