Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step bloc has secured a comfortable win in the December 9 snap parliamentary elections. According to the country’s Central Election Commission, Pashinyan’s party gained 70.4% of the votes.
The Prosperous Armenia party came in second with just 8.27% of the votes.
These elections follow the country’s 2018 Velvet Revolution, which saw opposition leader and former journalist Nikol Pashinyan come to office as Prime Minister.
On October 16, Pashinyan resigned explaining it as a calculated step to elect a new parliament, after the parliament passed a law essentially blocking early elections, which sparked even more protests.
Hromadske spoke to Armenak Minasyants, a Board Member and Secretary at Article 3 Human Rights Center, just as the results started coming in. According to him, it is unpopular not to support Pashinyan today as he is seen as the face of the Velvet Revolution and being anti-Pashinyan is seen as being anti-revolution.
As Minasyants commented, “Whenever you say: 'I am against Pashinyan,' it means you are against the revolution and it rings the [alarm] bells that some people are not finding it comfortable, even though they have difference in views and visions.”
Minasyants also said that although the turnout in this election was low at just 48.63%, these are the first democratic elections Armenia has seen in the last three decades and therefore “truly historical”.
“In my personal perception, they are going to historical overall for the entire post-Soviet region. Having said that, I basically mean that the elections are truly democratic, absolutely transparent, open, fair and the results are not going to create any type of manipulation among the population of Armenia,” Minasyants stated.