10 Dec 2018 12:47

Parliamentary election in Armenia democratic - CIS monitors

YEREVAN. Dec 10 (Interfax) - The extraordinary parliamentary election in Armenia on Sunday was free and democratic, the CIS observer mission said.

"We confirm the conclusions we drew after the 2017 parliamentary elections in Armenia that the Electoral Code provides the possibility for holding free and democratic elections," head of the CIS observer mission head Viktor Guminsky said at a press conference after the election.

Nevertheless, certain provisions of the code dealing with disabled people, especially with regard to voting at home, could be more specific, he said.

"The CEC worked in a well-coordinated way. All measures were taken to hold the election in accordance with the country's electoral legislation. Citizens of the republic were given the opportunity to choose freely," Guminsky said.

This campaign was shorter than usual, he said.

"There were a number of irregularities, including damage to campaign posters and placement of posters in unauthorized areas," Guminsky said.

The CIS observer mission included 84 people from eight CIS states, including 16 long-term observers, he said.

The Armenian Central Elections Commission said earlier on Monday that the voter turnout stood at 48.67%, or 1.26 million people, with 4,678 ballots having been recognized as invalid.

The My Step electoral bloc led by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan placed the first with 70.44% of votes.

The Prosperous Armenia party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukyan and the Light Armenia party led by parliamentarian Edmon Marukyan got seats in the parliament with 8.27% and 6.37% of votes, respectively.

The opposition Republican Party led by Armenia's former President Serzh Sargsyan that got 4.7% of votes did not master the five-percent threshold and did not win seats in the new parliament, he said.

The Dashnaktsutyun party also failed to get to the parliament receiving only 3.89% of votes, he said.

No other political party or bloc got more than 2% of votes, he said.

The electoral threshold is 5% for parties and 7% for blocs.

The voter turnout in the Sunday parliamentary election was the lowest in Armenia in the past few years. The election did not have a voter turnout threshold.

Nine parties and two electoral blocs ran in the election.