The World watches: Global news media closely follow Armenia general election
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 9, ARMENPRESS. As Armenia is voting to elect a new parliament, many news agencies around the world are covering the process.
The BBC writes in an article titled “Armenia leader Nikol Pashinyan holds test snap election” that “Armenians are voting in an early parliamentary election on Sunday, a key test for the man behind the peaceful "Velvet Revolution" that swept the country in April.”
According to the BBC, Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance is expected to win a parliamentary majority.
France’s AFP is also covering the elections, in an article titled “Land of Noah: Armenia's history and culture”.
It also didn’t miss the chance to present five points on the history and culture of Armenia, ranging from being the first nation to adopt Christianity, up to a “Star-studded Diaspora”.
RT also notes that polls indicate “the My Step Alliance, led by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, will grab a parliamentary majority.”
Al Jazeera mentions that earlier this year Pashinyan's bloc won a landslide victory in the Yerevan City Council elections, winning more than 80 percent of the vote, where nearly 40 percent of the country's population lives.
Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker, said that a Pashinyan victory would complete the peaceful revolution that began earlier in the year.
"If that happens, this will be the finishing touch of his so-called velvet revolution, when back in the spring, he managed to bring out tens of thousands of Armenians on to the streets, to bring about a peaceful transition of power. Back then, he was elected prime minister with hundreds of thousands of Armenians on the streets, demanding parliament make him the country's leader," he said, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Iran’s Press TV reminded a Gallup poll conducted between December 1 and December 4 among 1,100 voters that gave a sizable lead to My Step Alliance among all other parties with 69.4 percent of public support.
Turkey’s TRT World quotes PM Nikol Pashinyan having earlier said he plans to make Armenia "an industrial, high-tech, export-oriented country", and spark an "economic revolution".
Canadian internet news service Digital Journal says “Armenia votes in snap polls to cement reform drive”.
2010 polling stations across 13 electoral districts throughout the country have opened as of 08:00, December 9, as the country is electing a new parliament.
The vote will be concluded at 20:00, and the ballot count will begin.
Nine political parties and two alliances are running for parliament.
Candidates are – Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Citizens Decision Social-Democratic Party, ARF, aka Dashnaktsutyun, the ruling My Step Alliance, Lusavor Hayastan (Luminous Armenia) Party, Christian-People’s Rebirth Party, National Progress Party, Menk (We) Alliance, Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law, aka Country of Law) Party and Bargavatch Hayastan (Prosperous Armenia) Party.
According to official data, 2,573,779 people are entitled to vote.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tendered a tactical resignation on October 16 in a maneuver to trigger the process of dissolving the parliament.
In accordance to the Constitution, when a Prime Minister resigns the parliament must elect a new PM within two weeks. Lawmakers deliberately failed to elect a new PM as a formality in order to pave the way for dissolution.
Pashinyan took office after massive protests in April forced president-turned PM Serzh Sargsyan to resign. But Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK) still held most seats in the 105-seat parliament. Since taking office, Nikol Pashinyan has numerously said that the incumbent parliament doesn’t represent the people and that early elections should take place as soon as possible.
The parliament was dissolved by virtue of law on November 1. On the same day, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian signed an order on calling early general election on December 9.
The incumbent parliament functions until the new parliament is elected.
The government is formally a caretaker government until a new Cabinet is formed after the election.
The campaigning period kicked off November 26 with 11 political parties and blocs running for parliament.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan