European observers said the vote in Armenia was “well-organized”
According to the Central Election Commission’s preliminary results, four political entities are expected to take seats at the new Armenian parliament out of the participating nine: the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), the Tsarukyan bloc, the Yelk bloc and Dashnaktsutyun, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF).
Having received the majority of the votes, RPA will have 58 parliament members, while 30 seats will go to the Tsarukyan bloc, nine seats will go to the Yelk bloc and the ARF will get seven seats.
Observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said that the 2 April parliamentary election was “well-organized, and in general, freedom ensured”. The observers have formed a negative impression concerning the reports received from “reliable sources” on bribery cases and pressure on voters during the pre-election period.
Ignacio Sanchez Amor, the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission coordinator, called on “the parliamentary majority and the government to keep carrying out reforms in partnership with the civil society and international community.”
The Armenian president has also made a statement, expressing gratitude to the political forces for an active and generally non-hostile political struggle: “It has been a beautiful fight with the goal of drawing comparisons and voicing contrasting opinions and positions on issues related with the country’s development.”
Serzh Sargsyan touched upon the procedures envisioned under the new election code as well as using modern tools during the election (electronic identification of voters and taking fingerprints): “the voting process has been conducted in such a way that heavy violations have become a matter of the past.”
The first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, participated in the elections as a member of the Armenian National Congress – People’s Party of Armenia (PPA) bloc, which garnered less than two percent of the votes.
Evaluating the election results, Ter-Petrosyan stated: “We just have to wait and see how RPA, Armenian Revival (the party headed by Tsarukyan), ARF Dashnaktsutyun and Yelk will develop Armenia’s economy in “tiger leaps”, ensure multi-billion investment, strengthen the army, stop migration, and regulate the main problem facing our people – the Karabakh conflict.”
During the pre-election campaign, the bloc’s motto was “peace, reconciliation and good neighbourly relations,” as they focused on finding a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict and making territorial concessions. The pundits had expected that the bloc’s performance in the election would show what part of the Armenian society is ready to compromise on the Karabakh issue.
The post-election announcement of the Armenian Revival party, which has garnered slightly less than four percent of the votes and failed to get the parliamentary seats, reads that their rivals had used administrative tools and large-scale bribery of voters.
“The party notes that for the first time in Armenia, thanks to comprehensive TV coverage, the political forces could present their pre-election programs. But the idea has fallen victim to financial and administrative tools. The party commits not to question the election result,and also not to take part in post-election mass events and rallies. The party congratulates the winners and wishes them success.”
The CEC has a week to sum up the final results of the 2 April elections.