Armenia PM Pashinyan’s Civil Contract claims victory in snap

TEHRAN, Jun. 21 (MNA) – Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan has claimed victory in a snap parliamentary election but his top rival, former President Robert Kocharyan did not accept the announcement.

Nikol Pashinyan, the acting prime minister of Armenia, has claimed victory in a snap parliamentary election he had called in an effort to defuse a political crisis following a disastrous war with Azerbaijan, Al-Jazeera reported.

With 75 percent of results declared, Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party had 55.61 percent of the vote on Monday. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the electoral alliance of his top rival, former President Robert Kocharyan, had 20 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout was about 50 percent, with some 2.6 million people eligible to vote.

“The people of Armenia have given our Civil Contract party a mandate to lead the country and personally me to lead the country as prime minister,” Pashinyan said early on Monday.

“We already know that we won a convincing victory in the elections and we will have a convincing majority in parliament,” he added.

Kocharyan’s bloc, however, questioned the credibility of the preliminary results and said it would not recognise Pashinyan’s quick claim to victory, which came when just 30 percent of precincts had been counted.

“Hundreds of signals from polling stations testifying to organised and planned falsifications serve as a serious reason for lack of trust,” the bloc said in a statement, adding it would not “recognise” the results until the “violations” were studied.

Earlier on Sunday evening, the general prosecutor’s office said it had received 319 reports of violations. It said it had opened six criminal probes, all of which concerned bribes during campaigning.

The election is being monitored by experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which recently assessed the voting as largely fair and free. They will deliver an overall verdict on Monday.

Opinion polls prior to the election had put the two parties neck and neck. 

ZZ/PR/ FNA14000331000160

News Code 175099

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