The ruling Republican Party of Armenia has registered an overwhelming victory in elections for Yerevan City Council amidst allegations of widespread irregularities in a hardly fought contest.
Three parties passed the 6% threshhold and will be represented on the City Council of the Armenian Capital - the Republican Party of Armenia, the Prosperous Armenia Party and the Barev Bloc led by Heritage leader, Raffi Hovannesian.
The preliminary results published by the Armenian Central Elections Commission are as follows:
Republican Party of Armenia - 55.86% (235,512 votes)
Prosperous Armenia Party - 23.05% (97,189)
"Barev [Hello], Yerevan" bloc - 8.47% (35,732)
Armenian National Congress Party - 4.39% (18,499)
ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party - 3.79% (15,999)
Orinats Yerkir Party (Rule of Law) - 3.73% (15,733)
Arakelutyun Party - 0.64% (2,692)
Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "in many respects the election was more of the same, with the ruling party maintaining a firm grip on the government of the Armenian capital amid reports of widespread election fraud and malpractises.The opposition parties had hoped that between them they could secure enough seats on the Council to break the government's monopoly on power, and secure a base from where to launch a challenge to the governing party. The result does not give them this possibility and the exclusion from the City Council of the Dashnak ARF and the Armenian National Congress undermines their role as national parties. The Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law) Party came last amongst the parties represented in parliament, once more indicating the decline of this party that once was considered a possible alternative government. The party has since 2008 been in coalition in government with the RPA, but its role is marginal.
Once more there have been widespread and credible allegations of massive fraud and irregularities, meticulously documented by an army of civil society activists that have monitored the process. Thus the municipal elections whilst unusually hardly fought have not broken the pattern that has chartacterised the Armenian political scene over the last decade."
photo: The result of the Yerevan Municipal Elections as announced on the website of the central Elections Commission of Armenia.
It is likely that opposition parties will rally around one of the leaders of the protest movement, although it is understood that apart from the candidacy of Nikol Pashinyan other options are being considered.
Nikol Pashinyyan, the leader of street protests who earlier forced the resignation of prime minister Serzh Sargsyan is insisting that a new prime minister is appointed who is not a member of the ruling Republican Party, to pave the way for early elections