Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   15 December

Political events showed that early elections of parliament must take place ASAP, says PM Pashinyan

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 24, ARMENPRESS. The Yerevan City Council election was unique, a full opportunity existed for citizen to freely go and vote without any coercion, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a live broadcast on Facebook from New York City.

“This is an extremely important event for our political life. I want to congratulate us all on this election, because this election was unique since the citizens had no coercion and were able to freely go to polling stations and fulfill their civil duty,” Pashinyan said.

Congratulating Hayk Marutyan, the PM wished productive work to the future mayor. The PM also congratulated the Prosperous Armenia Party and the Luys bloc, who also made it to the city council.

He said that the observers’ reports about the election should be closely followed in order to elevate the electoral system to a higher level.

“The turnout issue is being greatly discussed. Many are trying to say that the majority did not participate and that conclusions must be drawn. In this regard I want to say that these arguments are ridiculous. The turnout was less in the previous city council election, and this in the event when people were being forcefully brought to polling stations in [buses] and with bribes. Second of all, our electoral lists do not reflect the true picture that exists. Many of our compatriots have left the country 20-25 years ago, but are still in the lists. In addition, during the bribed elections they didn’t even take into consideration one fact, they were bringing bedridden senior citizens to polling stations,” he said, adding that the participation of the citizens in this election leaves no space for any doubts.

“I highly value the fact that mayoral candidate from the Luys alliance Artak Zeynalyan congratulated the My Step alliance, and that Prosperous Armenia leader Gagik Tsarukyan, the Heritage party, Rule of Law have congratulated. This is a new political culture, which is very important. I would like to say that mayor-elect Hayk Marutyan, the city council will engage in the city affairs, and that we will commence discussions with political forces in order to see how and in which timing we will hold early elections [of parliament]. Political events have shown that early elections of parliament should take place very quickly. Political uncertainty is braking the attraction of investments in our economy.

This election showed that the incumbent parliament essentially doesn’t have the mandate to function. All parliamentary forces taken together garnered very little votes. We need to enable the people to authorize their desired political force with a new election,” Pashinyan said.

Pashinyan highly appreciated Republican faction leader Vahram Baghdasaryan for expressing readiness to negotiate, as well as the Prosperous Armenia party. He stressed that the election results showed that the government has great resource of trust. “I am proud, I bow before the people, this is the exclusive victory of the people. This election showed that political processes are in the hands of citizens. I am sure that we will all consider this a value,” he said.

He said that he is planning to head to the UN headquarters where he will take part in several events. Pashinyan is expected to deliver remarks at the summit dedicated to the 100th anniversary of birth of Nelson Mandela. He will also deliver a speech at the opening of the Armenia! Exhibiton  at the New York Met. Pashinyan will hold a meeting today with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan



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