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We are returning today to talk about the political events that have taken place in Armenia in the last months. In our previous article, we discussed how the streets of the entire nation – and, in particular, those of the capital Yerevan – were shaken by numerous demonstrations between February and March of this year. Citizens were calling on one side for the resignation of the incumbent prime minister Nikol P’ashinyan. On the other, they supported his work. These divisions were the consequence of the armistice, mediated by Moscow, which he signed with the Republic of Azerbaijan in November 2020, putting an end to the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.
We have already mentioned how the Prime Minister’s resignation was a probable option, given his precarious position in the first months of 2021. Indeed, the resignation came on the 25th of April. On the 10th of May, the seventh National Assembly was dissolved, pending elections set for the 20th of June.
The political campaign that preceded the election, despite its heated tone, did not reach the level of violence witnessed in early March. As expected, the two main parties were P’ashinyan’s Civil Contract (which participated independently in the elections, without the historic liberalist allies of the Mission Party) and Armenia Alliance, a nationalist and Russophile party led by Robert K’och’aryan, former President both of the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh). As for the polls of last spring, they saw P’ashinyan ahead of his opponent, but without a large margin.
The election results were a landslide victory for the Civil Contract, which won 71 seats out of 107. Armenia Alliance won only 29 and the third and last political force to cross the threshold was the centre-left “I Have Honour Alliance” with 7 seats.
There were various reactions to these results, although the most divisive ones were those of the defeated prime ministerial candidate, K’och’aryan. He denounced electoral frauds throughout the country, which, at least in his opinion, affected the result of these elections.
These allegations are currently being examined by the Constitutional Court, but so far there does not seem to be any relevant evidence in favour of them. Armenia Alliance’s defeat seems rather to have been caused by the fact that rural areas were poorly served by them during the campaign, and it was the overwhelming majority of National Contract votes in the cities and areas outside the capital that handed such a triumph to Prime Minister Nikol P’ashinyan.