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Armenia: On Election Day, Familiar Complaints and a Familiar Finish

A woman completes her ballot for parliamentary elections at a polling station in the village of Zar in Armenia's Kotayq region. (Photo: Anahit Hayrapetyan)

Elections in Armenia on May 6 should not significantly alter the current balance of power in parliament, according to preliminary results. The most significant, unanswered question is whether incumbent authorities conducted a clean enough vote to satisfy the European Union.
EU officials had said prior to Election Day that the conduct of vote would play a major role in defining diplomatic relations between Brussels and Yerevan.

After the polls closed on May 6, leading representatives of the Republican Party of Armenia, the leader of the three-party governing coalition, were quick to tout the vote as free-and-fair. Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, for example, called the poll “the most transparent” in the 20-year “history of our newly independent state.” Republican Party spokesperson Eduard Sharmazanov also pronounced the voting to be largely irregularity-free.

“If someone thinks differently, I would ask for facts; not rhetoric and speeches, but specific facts,” lectured Sharmazanov. “There have been no facts.”

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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter in Yerevan and the editor of MediaLab.am.

Armenia: On Election Day, Familiar Complaints and a Familiar Finish

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