Pashinyan secures victory in Armenia’s snap election

10 Dec 18

Armenia’s acting prime minister has won the majority of the vote in the country’s snap election on a promise to tackle corruption and reform the economy.

My Step Alliance, led by journalist-turned-politician Nikol Pashinyan who came to power in May after weeks of mass protests against corruption, won 70.4% of the vote based on results from all polling stations, the Central Election Commission's website said.

Pashinyan led a peaceful revolution earlier this year and his win means he has the parliamentary majority to push through his programme of fighting corruption. He stepped down in October so parliament could be dissolved for the early election, but he remained the acting prime minister.

Poll turnout was low at about 49%, the BBC reported. It highlighted that the country’s elections have historically been influenced by fraud and vote buying but the news outlet reported that there was hope this vote would be different.

The results showed the opposition parties, Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia, got enough votes to clear the 5% threshold to enter parliament.

Under the country’s constitution, 30% of seats in parliament must go to opposition parties.

“Armenian citizens created a revolutionary majority at the parliament,” Pashinyan told reporters after the results were made official.

“If this trend continues, the majority won’t face any problems in implementing legislative changes.”

The former newspaper editor marked a break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.

The leader has promised no major shifts in Armenian foreign policy and has said he would not break with Moscow.

The country hosts a Russian military base and is a member of Russia-led military and economic alliances.

 

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