Armenia votes for neck and neck parliamentary elections

The leader of the “Armenia” block and former president of the country Robert Kocharyan will vote at the polling place on June 20, 2021 during the Snap Parliamentary elections in Yerevan, Armenia. VahramBaghdasaryan / Photolure via REUTERS

June 20, 2021

Dmitry Antonov

Moscow (Reuters) -A vote was taken in a parliamentary election in Armenia on Sunday, with Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and former President Robert Kocharyan’s party acting as Prime Minister.

The Armenian government called for a rush election last year to end the political crisis that broke out after the Armenian National Army lost the six-week war with Azerbaijan and handed over the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its surroundings. ..

Since then, Pashinyan has been under pressure in regular street protests demanding that he resign from the terms of the peace agreement that ended the conflict. Under a Russian-mediated agreement, Azerbaijan regained control of the territory lost during the war in the early 1990s.

Pashinyan himself described the agreement as a disaster, but said he had to sign it to prevent widespread human and territorial losses.

According to a recent Gallup International Poll conducted June 7-10, 24.1% of voters are ready to vote for Kocharyan’s Armenian Alliance and 23.8% are ready to vote for Pashinyan’s Citizens’ Contract Party. It was done.

Anyone who makes up the majority of the Transcaucasia parliament can elect a prime minister appointed by the president.

Both Pashinyan and Kocharyan voted in the capital Yerevan on Sunday morning.

Armenia, which hosts the Russian military base, is a close ally of Moscow, but Pashinyan, who came to power behind the street protests and anti-corruption agenda in 2018, has a cooler relationship with the Kremlin.

“We hope the elections of our close allies and partners will be successful,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan in last year’s conflict, is also watching closely.

Pashinyan’s main rival is Kocharyan from Nagorno-Karabakh, a fought-off destination last year. It is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has long been claimed primarily by Armenian people.

Kocharyan was President of Armenia from 1998 to 2008 and was accused of committing illegal acts when introducing a state of emergency in March 2008 after the elections were contested. At least 10 people were killed in a subsequent clash between police and protesters.

In a recent interview with Russia’s RTTV channel, Kocharyan accused Armenian leaders of the time of taking no action during the war last year and promised to begin negotiations once they came to power at the Nagorno-Karabakh border. did.

(Additional report by Alexander Marrow; edited by Mark Heinrich)

Armenia votes for neck and neck parliamentary elections

Source link Armenia votes for neck and neck parliamentary elections

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