August 5, 2021

In Armenia, Nikol Pachinian welcomes a “steel revolution” in the legislative elections

Nikol Pachinian probably did not expect such a large victory himself. The Armenian Prime Minister won the early parliamentary elections on Sunday, June 20 with flying colors. His party, Civil Contract, raised 53.9 % voices. The former journalist, who came to power after a pro-democracy and peaceful revolution in 2018, claimed victory on the night of Sunday to Monday. He congratulated himself on this news “Revolution”, this time not ” velvet ” more “Of steel”. “The people gave us a mandate for the dictatorship of law and rights, and we must use it immediately”, he added, inviting his supporters to gather Monday night in Yerevan.

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His main opponent and sworn enemy, Robert Kotcharian, came far behind, with 21.04% of the vote. The former president, who ruled Armenia from 1998 to 2008 and counts Russian leader Vladimir Putin among his friends, immediately denounced “Falsifications planned in advance” and demanded “To carefully study suspected and reported frauds”. “As long as these questions have not been fully answered, the bloc will not recognize the results of the ballot”, said his formation, Alliance Armenia.

Voters line up outside a polling station in the Zeytun district of Yerevan, Armenia, on June 20, 2021, during the early parliamentary elections in Armenia.

However, the Central Electoral Commission assured that, “Overall, the elections were held in accordance with the law”. Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), responsible for monitoring the transparency of the ballot, are due to present their first conclusions on Monday.

More than 49% of voters took part in the poll, which the prime minister resolved to organize, under pressure, after the country’s crushing defeat to Azerbaijan in the war in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020 Its victory gives it new legitimacy.

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“The people are trampled”

More than a third of voters hesitated until the last moment between the candidates, feeling they had to choose “The least worse”, making the result uncertain. “We went through a very hard period, and the person I could trust does not exist”, explained Lucinée, unemployed 36, before going to the polls. “It’s more an anti-Kotcharian vote than a pro-Pachinian vote. The fear that Kocharian inspires has led people to vote for the prime minister, perceived as 51% incompetent, but honest ”, explains Nerses Kapalyan, professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and co-author of a study carried out before the poll.

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