YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s My Step alliance will hold 88 of the 132 seats in Armenia’s new parliament, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said at the weekend, formally certifying its landslide victory in the December 9 elections.
The final election results released by the CEC are practically identical to its preliminary vote tally announced on December 10. They confirm that My Step won 70.4 percent of the vote.
Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) finished a distant second, getting 8.3 percent and winning 26 parliament seats. The pro-Western Bright Armenia Party will control the remaining 18 seats, having garnered 6.4 percent of the vote.
The BHK and Bright Armenia avoided criticizing Pashinian during the election campaign, leading some observers to question their opposition credentials. The BHK has yet to clarify its political status. Bright Armenia, for its part, insists that it will be in opposition to the current government formed following this spring’s “velvet revolution.”
The CEC also confirmed that, former President Serzh Sarkisian’s HHK and Dashnaktsutyun, narrowly failed to clear the 5 percent threshold to enter the parliament. They polled 4.7 percent and 3.9 percent of the vote respectively, according to the official results.
The six other political forces participating in the elections fared even worse. None of them got more than 2 percent.
In sharp contrast to the past Armenian elections, all election contenders have essentially accepted the outcome of the snap polls.
Western observers mostly deployed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe described the December 9 vote as democratic. A preliminary report released by them on December 10 noted a “general absence of electoral malfeasance.”
The United States and the European Union echoed that positive assessment. The U.S. State Department said the electoral process “enjoyed broad public trust and respected fundamental freedoms.”
Under Armenian law, the election results can be challenged in the Constitutional Court by December 21. Election contenders are also allowed to demand their full or partial annulment by the CEC. The commission chairman, Tigran Mukuchian, said on Sunday that the electoral body has not received such demands.