Early returns from Armenia’s snap parliamentary election Sunday show the country’s new prime minister’s bloc with a commanding lead — an outcome that would help further consolidate his power. The charismatic 43-year-old Nikol Pashinian took office in May after spearheading massive protests that forced his predecessor to step down. Pashinian has pushed for early vote to win control of a parliament that was dominated by his political foes. An ex-journalist turned politician, Pashinian has won broad popularity, tapping into public anger over widespread poverty, high unemployment and rampant corruption in the landlocked former Soviet nation of 3 million that borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran.Full Article: Armenia premier's bloc winning vote, early returns show.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Armenia.
Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, has bolstered his authority after his political bloc won early parliamentary elections in the former Soviet country, the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) results showed. My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party, won 70.4% of the vote on Sunday based on results from all polling stations, the CEC said on its website. Results showed that two moderate opposition parties – Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia – got enough votes to clear the 5% threshold to enter parliament.Full Article: Armenia election: reformist PM Nikol Pashinian wins convincing victory | World news | The Guardian.
Lawmakers in Armenia triggered an early parliamentary election on Thursday after failing to elect a prime minister, a move sought by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who quit as premier last month in order to force a new vote. Pashinyan, a former opposition leader who took power in May after a popular uprising, has long sought a new vote for parliament, which is still made up of members elected before demonstrators pushed the former ruling party out of power. By quitting and leaving parliament unable to find a successor, he forced parliament to dissolve and hold a new vote.Full Article: Lawmakers in Armenia trigger early parliamentary election | Reuters.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian vowed late on October 2 to tender his resignation in an effort to force early parliamentary elections before the end of the year. Rallying tens of thousands of supporters in Yerevan, he also announced the firing of six government ministers representing the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Dashnaktsutyun parties who he accused of hampering his drive for early elections. Pashinian called on supporters to rally outside the parliament building in central Yerevan immediately after lawmakers from the BHK and Dashnaktsutyun joined the former ruling Republican Party (HHK) in passing a bill that would make it harder for him to dissolve the current parliament.Full Article: Armenia's Pashinian Says Will Resign In Push To Force New Elections.
Yerevan’s municipal election campaign formally kicked off on September 10, with 12 political parties and alliances taking part. The September 23 elections will be the first major election in Armenia since opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian became prime minister after leading a wave of antigovernment protests in May. Voters in the Armenian capital will elect the 65 members of the Council of Elders under a proportional representation system. The council will later elect a new mayor of Yerevan. Under Armenian election law, any political party or bloc winning more than 40 percent of the votes will have the top candidate on its list automatically elected mayor.Full Article: Armenia To Hold First Major Election Since Power Change.
Armenia: Armenia contemplates the unlikely: a nonviolent revolution on the cusp of victory | Los Angeles Times
For weeks, Armenians attempted the unthinkable — to bring down their government through peaceful mass protests. On Monday night, they returned to the capital’s central Republic Square, this time to celebrate their impending victory. “I’m so proud to be Armenian now,” said Satenik Gevorgyan, 28. “This is the kind of change we’ve been waiting for all our lives.” Armenia’s parliament is expected to elect opposition leader Nikol Pashinian as prime minister Tuesday, nearly a month after the 42-year-old led hundreds of thousands of Armenians in a civil disobedience movement. The nonviolent demonstrations began in April and at times paralyzed the capital, Yerevan, with road blockages, labor strikes and street dance parties.Full Article: Armenia contemplates the unlikely: a nonviolent revolution on the cusp of victory.
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan failed in his attempt to become prime minister after the ruling Republican party refused to back his candidacy despite massive street demonstrations backing him. Pashinyan, who’s termed the protest movement a “velvet revolution,” gained 45 votes, eight short of the majority he needed to become premier in place of Armenia’s longtime ruler, Serzh Sargysan, who resigned last week as tens of thousands joined opposition demonstrations. The result means parliament will vote again in a week. A repeat of the result would trigger early elections. In the meantime, further civil unrest is likely.Full Article: Armenia Risks Further Unrest After Protest Leader Is Rejected as PM - Bloomberg.
Armenia’s opposition secured another victory on Thursday as the country’s parliament said it would hold a special session and new leader elections after weeks of protests and the resignation of its prime minster. The elections, set for 1 May, are part of a three-step opposition plan for a transition of power that includes electing a “people’s prime minister” and then holding snap parliamentary elections. Nikol Pashinyan, the charismatic leader of the opposition who has called for the country to root out corruption and voter fraud, appeared the favourite to be elected prime minister.Full Article: Armenia plans leader elections after shock resignation of PM | World news | The Guardian.
Armenia’s acting prime minister on Wednesday suggested calling a parliamentary election as tens of thousands staged a new protest in the capital against the ruling elite. Two weeks of demonstrations looked to have peaked on Monday when Serzh Sarksyan quit as prime minister. But the protesters have made clear they consider the whole government tainted by his drive to shift power to the premier from the president. “The fight is not over!” said 21-year-old Susana Adamyan, clutching a placard calling on others to take a stand.Full Article: Acting Armenia leader suggests election as protests roll on | Reuters.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has criticised Armenia’s weekend election, saying it had been tainted by instances of vote-buying and interference. President Serzh Sarksyan’s ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) won Sunday’s elections, official results showed, laying the foundation for a new parliamentary system of government. The OSCE said in a statement the elections were well-administered and fundamental freedoms were generally respected. But, it added, they had been marked by organisational problems and undue interference in the process, mostly by party representatives. It also noted some pressure on civil servants as well as private sector employees.Full Article: Armenia elections tainted by vote-buying: OSCE monitors | Armenia News | Al Jazeera.
Armenians will elect a new parliament on Sunday in a closely fought race between the ruling party and a former coalition partner that heralds the start of a parliamentary system of government. Under controversial constitutional reforms, parliament, rather than voters, will elect the president for the first time, and the office of prime minister will become more powerful, reducing the presidency to a largely ceremonial role. The opposition says the changes are a ruse to let President Serzh Sarksyan slip into an enhanced prime ministerial role at the head of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) when his presidential term ends in 2018. Sarksyan, 62, denies the reforms were designed to extend his political career.Full Article: Tight Armenian election sets scene for constitutional shake-up | Reuters.
The Armenian authorities officially confirmed on Monday that they will not implement a recent agreement with the opposition that was supposed to ensure the proper conduct of next year’s parliamentary elections. The Central Election Commission (CEC) attributed the deal’s collapse to logistical problems related to the introduction of a biometric registry of voters meant to prevent multiple voting by government loyalists. The compromise agreement reached with three parliamentary opposition parties in June committed the authorities to installing electronic machines that would check voters’ identity through plastic ID cards containing their fingerprints. The landmark deal, which took the form of amendments to Armenia’s new Electoral Code, also envisaged live online broadcasts of voting and ballot counting from all 2,000 or so polling stations across the country.Full Article: Armenian Election Deal Collapses | Asbarez.com.
The National Assembly approved on Wednesday major amendments to Armenia’s new Electoral Code that stem from a compromise agreement reached by the government and the parliamentary opposition earlier this month. Government officials again made clear, however, that the amendments regulating the conduct of next year’s parliamentary elections will be annulled unless foreign donors pay for the purchase of special equipment needed for their implementation.Full Article: Armenia Approves Major Amendments to Electoral Code | Asbarez.com.
On March 3, a new Draft Electoral Code of Armenia was adopted at a cabinet sitting by the Armenian Government. Chief of Armenian Government Staff Davit Harutyunyan presented the Draft and announced that the final version of the document will be prepared through active political debates to be conducted until June 1. “The focus of the key discussions should be transferred to the political field, and for that reason some discussions are proposed to be held at the National Assembly. The adoption of the Code signals the launch of public discussion phase to be held at the National Assembly,” Harutyunyan sajd. Two major innovations were introduced into the new Code. One provision states that the Head of local self-government bodies in Gyumri, Vanadzor communities shall be elected directly by electors like in Yerevan City. “This is the first step and I think the list will expand and we will move toward strengthening of the role of political forces in the communities,” Harutyunyan added.Full Article: New Draft Electoral Code Adopted by the Armenian Government | Asbarez.com.
The United States urged Armenia on Tuesday to investigate any credible reports of irregularities in a weekend referendum in which preliminary results showed voters approving a strengthening of the prime minister’s powers. The changes envisaged in Sunday’s referendum, which are due to come into force after elections in May 2017, would curb the role of the historically powerful president and give more authority to the Armenian prime minister and parliament. The opposition has said the changes are a ruse to let President Serzh Sarksyan take on an enhanced prime ministerial role at the head of the Republican Party after his presidential term ends in 2018. He has denied that. His supporters have said the changes are needed to prevent political instability.Full Article: U.S. urges Armenia to investigate any referendum irregularities | Reuters.
Armenians voted in a referendum to boost the prime minister’s powers, results showed on Monday, a move supporters say will bolster stability but opponents warn will entrench the ruling party’s control over the ex-Soviet state. Observers from the Council of Europe rights group reported problems with the voting lists and other irregularities, and said that the low turnout suggested many voters saw Sunday’s referendum as a piece of political maneuvering. The ruling Republican party, which called the vote, said minor violations could not affect the result.Full Article: Armenian Vote Boosts PM's Powers, Opposition Cries Foul.
Armenians voted to curb presidential powers in a disputed referendum, official results showed Monday, but the opposition said the reforms aimed to keep President Serzh Sarkisian in power and called for protests. Around two-thirds (63 percent) backed the constitutional changes in Sunday’s referendum, with 32 percent voting against, according to preliminary results from the election commission. Turnout in the referendum stood at 51 percent. However, monitors from the Council of Europe criticised irregularities in the referendum, adding that “too many citizens” saw the reforms as “a means for the current president to remain in power”.Full Article: Armenia votes to curb presidential powers as referendum slammed - Yahoo News.
On December 6, citizens of Armenia will vote in a referendum to change the country’s constitution. It needs 638,583 “yes” votes to pass. Hetq has taken a look at past national elections and has revealed that while the number of residents in Armenia has been decreasing, the number of eligible voters has increased. Armenia’s first constitution after regaining independence was adopted on July 5, 1995. At the time, according to official figures, the country’s population was 3,753,500 and the number of eligible voters was 2,189,804. According to September 2015 official figures, 3,007,300 people live in Armenia and as of November 6, 2,554,332 have the right to vote.Full Article: Election Math in Armenia: Population Decreases, Voters Increase - Hetq - News, Articles, Investigations.
Amid opposition allegations of serious fraud planned in Armenia’s upcoming constitutional referendum, the National Assembly passed in the final reading on Wednesday a bill that eases legal requirements for voter identification in polling stations. Voters in Armenia have until now had to show election officials their national passports before being able to cast ballots in elections and referendums. Under the controversial bill, those of them who do not have passports would be allowed to produce only plastic ID cards introduced in Armenia in recent years. According to government estimates, over 180,000 voting-age Armenians hold only this kind of IDs. Lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party (HHK), who have drafted the bill, say that they too should be able to vote.Full Article: Parliament Adamant On ‘Vote Rigging’ Bill.
Armenia: ID Debate: Issue of voting by identification cards comes up ahead of Dec. 6 referendum | Armenia Now
This week the debate in Parliament over making addenda in the Election Code and in the law on Identity Cards ahead of the December 6 constitutional referendum has given rise to new concerns among opposition parties that believe that identification cards are a loophole for multiple voting because it will not be possible to put stamps on ID cards like in passports which is done to prove that a person has already voted. With the changes in the law proposed by the government people will be allowed to vote with identification cards. A total of 500,000 people in Armenia have ID cards, of whom 176 are without passports. The National Assembly has already rejected the draft law of parliamentarian Tigran Urikhanyan, who offered not only to give those half a million people, who have ID cards, a chance to vote, but also through special devices to prevent possible multiple voting. The Republicans’ refusal is grounded by the fact that it would not be technically possible to purchase and install the appropriate equipment by the time the referendum is to be held.Full Article: ID Debate: Issue of voting by identification cards comes up ahead of Dec. 6 referendum - Constitution | ArmeniaNow.com.