Turnout was strangely low despite the fervor of excitement in the run up to the elections " />

Armenian revolutionary leader’s bloc scores big win in parliamentary elections

Turnout was strangely low despite the fervor of excitement in the run up to the elections

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step bloc has won a landslide victory in Armenia’s snap parliamentary elections.

Vote counting began after polling stations closed last night at 8:00 pm. Final results were released earlier today, according to which Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step alliance won 70.4 per cent of the vote, the Central Election Commission reported.

Serious contenders to the My Step bloc, oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia party took 8.3 per cent, while Bright Armenia received six per cent.

The former ruling Republican Party of Armenia received 4.7 per cent of the vote, and thus failed to make it across the five per cent threshold for entry into parliament.

Voter turnout 

Voter turnout was 48.63 per cent, or 1,260,840 voters. Voter turnout in 2017 for parliamentary elections was 60.86 per cent.

Observers had expected much higher turnout, given the fervor and excitement in the lead up to the elections. 2,573,779 citizens were eligible to vote. A total of 1,500 polling stations were  equipped with video surveillance cameras, and 500 police officers were stationed throughout the country.

The elections were held on proportional and rating systems. Voters selected both the parties and candidates that they wanted to vote for. 2010 voting stations were open across the country. which closed at 8 p.m. last night. The Armenian legislation does not call for a minimum voter turnout in order for the elections to be recognised as valid.

How will votes be divided in parliament? 

Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step will be able to form a parliamentary majority and elect, presumably him, a prime minister.

The minimum number of deputies in the National Assembly of Armenia is 101 – there were 105 in the previous parliament.

According to the law, if the party that wins first place gets more than 70% of the votes, it will still not receive more than 2/3 of parliament seats. The remaining 30% will be distributed between the political forces that crossed the electoral threshold. The law states that a third-ranked force will pass into parliament even if it does not overcome the barrier.

For parties, the threshold is set at 5%, and for blocks 7%.

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Who ran?

Two blocs put forward their candidacies:
  • My Step – the head of which is Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
  • Menk [Arm. We]
and nine parties:
  • Republican Party of Armenia (RPA, the former ruling party)
  • Bright Armenia
  • Prosperous Armenia
  • Christian Democratic Revival Party
  • Sasna Tsrer
  • Country of Law (Orinats Yerkir)
  • Dashnaktsuyun
  • National Progress
  • Social-Democratic Party

The media and observation missions

The snap parliamentary elections were covered by 70 local and 32 foreign media outlets.

The election was monitored by eight international and 22 local organizations, including observation missions from the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Union  in Armenia.

Favourites

The few sociological surveys and expert studies recently conducted showed that Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s bloc was the obvious favourite in the elections.

Various forecasts predicted that his bloc would receive as much as 60 to 85% of the vote, while second place would be fought over between the Bright Armenia and Prosperous Armenia parties.

The Republican Party of Armenia did not hold mass rallies during the election campaign period, and instead limited themselves to meeting with journalists, participating in television debates and creating election videos.

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