Saudi-Pakistan Investment Forum discusses boosting trade and investment partnerships    Crown Prince concludes MEGISummit: We will work seriously to achieve our goals    EXIM Bank signs MoU with Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation    Saudi Pavilion at EXPO 2020 marks 76th anniversary of UN establishment    Greece premier praises importance of Middle East Green Initiative Summit    Saudi Arabia calls for restraint, de-escalation in Sudan    Riyadh Season hosts Barcelona and Boca Juniors on Maradona Cup night    Monshaat partners with MITEF Saudi & Arab Startup Competition    HSBC CEO — 2021 set to be first trillion-dollar year for green bonds    Riyadh dominates GCC rankings in human capital    All eyes on Jeddah! World's best golfers set for climax of Aramco Team Series    Crown Prince launches series of regional initiatives for climate action at MEGI Summit Ushering in a new green era for Mideast region    WFP's Beasley lauds Saudi Arabia's role in providing aid to millions around the globe    RedSeaIFF announces best short films by emerging Saudi filmmakers 15 shorts make up New Saudi/New Cinema slate    Pakistan hammer India by 10 wickets to clinch T20 win    Michael Jordan's trainers sell for record $1.47m at auction    China postpones Beijing marathon due to Covid surge    US actor James Michael Tyler dies aged 59    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    'Easy On Me': Adele returns to UK number one    'Be a Star' — WWE stars fight cyberbullying in Riyadh    Bollywood superstar's son denied bail in drugs case    Saudis, expats mourn death of prominent Filipino preacher in Riyadh    Bollywood actor Sidharth Shukla dies at 40    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs KSrelief to Urgently Provide Malaysia with Medical, Preventive Equipment and Supplies to Address COVID-19 Pandemic    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Maldives on Independence Day    Weather Forecast for Sunday    RSNF Commander Patronizes Ceremonial Launching of His Majesty's Ship "Jazan"    OIC Condemns Houthi Attempts to Target Civilians in Saudi Arabia    Philippines evacuates thousands as monsoon rains flood cities, provinces    Heavy rain in India triggers floods, landslides; at least 125 dead    U.S. Records 64,321 New Infections of Coronavirus    Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Pick to Chair IsDB Group for the next five years, unanimously approved by BoG Committee of Procedures    Saudi Press: Fitch affirms Saudi Credit Rating at "A" with a revised outlook to stable from negative    Handled Cargo at Saudi Ports Increases during June 2021    SDAIA, DARP & STC Launch Pilgrim's Smart Bracelet (NUSK)    2 Goals by Diaz Gives Colombia 3rd Place at Copa America    Saudi Cinema Night at Arab World Institute in Paris Kicks Off    KSU Leads Joint International Scientific Project for Early Detection of Breast Cancer    Saudi Arabia to Participate in Cannes Film Festival 2021    Arab Cup U-17 Championship Draw Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait, in the 1st Group    AWI Hosts Saudi Cinema Nights in Paris    Brazil Beats Chile at Copa America Despite 2nd-Half Red Card    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Incumbent Pashinyan wins Armenian election but opposition contests result
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 06 - 2021

Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan won a parliamentary majority on Sunday, according to official results, although his main rival is crying foul.
Pashinyan's Civil Contract party won 53.9 percent of the vote, results released on Monday show, far ahead of his main opponent, former president Robert Kocharyan's bloc, which secured 21 percent of the vote.
A bloc affiliated with another former president came third with 5.2%, and another party had nearly 4%. Blocs need 7% to get into parliament and parties need 5%. Turnout was low at 49.4%.
The result will allow Civil Contract to form a new government.
Kocharyan protested the results even before they were released in full, alleging "pre-planned falsification" of votes and demanding "a careful study of alleged and reported fraud.
"Until these questions are fully answered, the bloc will not recognise the results of the election," his group said in a statement.
Pashinyan, who led the so-called Velvet Revolution against Armenia's ruling oligarchy in 2018, called the election following months of protests over a peace deal he signed in November with Azerbaijan that ended a six-week war over the contested region of Nagorno Karabakh.
As part of the deal, Armenia agreed to cede territory that the country had captured from Azerbaijan in 1994. The defeat has led to street protests and calls for Pashinyan, a 46-year-old former journalist and protest leader, to resign.
Pashinyan chose instead to gamble on new parliamentary elections just months after the end of the conflict, in which nearly 6,000 were killed.
He faced opposition from representatives of the Armenian military elite and is hoping a good showing on Sunday will counter the opposition.
The election on Sunday had 21 political parties and four electoral blocs on the ballot, with more than 2,000 polling stations open across the country to an electorate of close to 2.6 million.
Early on Sunday, Artur Vanetsyan, the leader of Armenia's opposition center-right Homeland Party, cast his vote and said the incumbent government would "no longer exist".
He told reporters that authorities would be responsible for any violence, which flared up after the vote. Vanetsyan formerly served as the chairman of Armenia's National Security Service under Pashinyan, but he was arrested in November 2020 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government and kill the prime minister. He denied the charges, which were later dropped.
Kocharyan told those present at the polling station that he was voting for "a decent future and economic growth."
He also urged the government to investigate incidents against his campaign after leaflets against the political bloc led by Kocharyan appeared in the streets of the capital, Yerevan.
"If those who have done this still haven't been found, we suspect the authorities were involved," Kocharyan told reporters.
The embattled Pashinyan's Civil Contract party has taken on Armenia's entrenched political and economic elites over the past three years. But Pashinyan was branded a "loser" by Kocharyan who also accused him of cowardice for ending the war.
An earlier survey by the MPG Institute put the two parties neck and neck, with 24 percent of the vote. Pashinyan, who called the election in an effort to resolve post-war tensions, wanted to secure around to 60% of the vote to give him the mandate to remain in office.
Pashinyan has referred to this as a "mandate of steel" and has hammered the point home by literally brandishing a hammer during speeches.
One of his opponents is the man that he played a role in ousting in 2018, Serzh Sargsyan, who served as either prime minister or president for a decade from 2008 and in 2015 amended the constitution so that he could continue to lead Armenia despite restrictions on term limits.
Kocharyan also ran Armenia for a decade, between 1997 and 2008.
Around 2.6 million of Armenia's 2.9 million people are registered to vote on Sunday. They will elect 101 deputies out of a record number of parties, divided into four electoral blocs. If a governing majority is not won, a second round between the two biggest parties will be held in July.
Some 80 international observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly were deployed to Armenia to oversee Sunday's proceedings.
Officials from the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly of Europe were also assessing the election process.
Kari Henriksen, the head of the OSCE's mission in Armenia, also warned that hate speech and harsh rhetoric had been an issue during the campaign. "We will see in the end how this has affected the election, if it has," she said.
The international observer mission will present its preliminary report on Monday. — Euronews

Clic here to read the story from its source.