Oppositionist says Yerevan elections paved the way for end of ‘political monopoly’ in Armenia

Sunday’s municipal elections in Yerevan have cleared the way for the end of “political monopoly” and democratic development in Armenia, opposition activist Avetik Chalabyan claims.

Voters headed to the polls on Sunday to elect a municipal council and decide on Yerevan’s mayor for the next five years.

Only some 28.5 percent of Yerevan’s eligible voters cast ballots in the elections.

According to preliminary results, the ruling Civil Contract party garnered 32.57% of the vote, felling short of an absolute majority in the municipal council which is empowered to appoint the next mayor.

In a social media post on Monday, Chalabyan, who coordinates the Hayakve ballot initiative, claimed the low voter turnout was a “strong message to all political forces that people have higher expectations.”

“Despite the large-scale abuse of administrative resources, the ruling party gained 2.5 times fewer votes in the Yerevan elections than in the 2021 parliamentary elections, which says much about its approval rating,” the activist wrote.

“The widespread pessimistic view that it is impossible to achieve a change of government in Armenia through elections has finally faded away; it’s quite possible and paves the way for the elimination of political monopoly and truly democratic development in the country,” Chalabyan said.

He claims “much remains to be done” to restore the public trust in Armenia’s political institutions.

Five political forces elected to Yerevan municipal council

Five political forces have won seats in the Yerevan City Council following Sunday’s elections, according to preliminary data from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC).

The ruling Civil Contract party won 32.57% of the vote, felling well short of an absolute majority in the municipal council which is empowered to appoint the next mayor.

The National Progress party led by former Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan came in second with 18․89%, followed by the Mother Armenia bloc which won 15.43%.

The Public Voice Party garnered 9.68% of the vote, while the Republic (Hanrapetutyun) Party got 11.32% to make it to the City Council.

Civil Contract may still be able to install the Armenian capital’s next mayor if it forms a coalition.

The other political parties did not meet the 4% threshold needed to enter the municipal council.

The CEC said that only 28.46% of Yerevan’s eligible voters cast ballots on Sunday.

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