Bad weather? No 'dead voters'? December 9 general election saw lowest turnout in history
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. The 48,63% voter turnout in the December 9 parliamentary election is the lowest turnout in any general election of Armenia since the 1991 Independence Referendum.
The 1991 Independence Referendum saw a 95,5% turnout, with 99,51%, or 2,042,627, establishing the III Republic of Armenia with their ballots.
The highest turnout in a presidential election was in 1991, when Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected 1st President of Armenia with 1,260,014 votes, or 83% of the 74% turnout.
In terms of Constitutional Referenda, the highest turnout was in 2005 – 65,34%. 1,514,307 of the eligible 2,317,462 took part in the vote.
The highest turnout in a parliamentary election, however, was in 2012. 1,572,858 voters (62,34%) from the 2,522,906 cast their ballots.
The 2015 Constitutional Referendum, which eventually transitioned the country’s governance system from a presidential to a parliamentary one, saw a 50,74% turnout. And the subsequent 2017 parliamentary election had a 60,87% turnout.
Sunday’s general election had the lowest turnout with only 48,63%. 1,260,840 voters from the 2,592,479 eligible voters cast their ballots.
Republicans, the former ruling party that failed to garner sufficient votes to enter parliament, argues that the turnout is very low, however Central Electoral Commission president Tigran Mukuchyan disagreed. “I don’t agree that citizens were passive,” he said. “Voters have been fully informed about the election. I think the participation was normal. I think the morning passive participation was connected with bad weather, however activeness was observed in polling stations especially after midday”.
Caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of the My Step Alliance that garnered an absolute supermajority of votes, also weighed in on the turnout. “Let’s monitor the press of the past 15 years, let’s see what the opposition is saying after the last elections, what the press is writing, and what the civil society is saying. They are saying that the government always has a few hundred thousands in resources, that it always uses: these are the absent voters, dead voters, and in addition in these vote people did not [forcibly] take citizens to the election, but citizens themselves went to vote by their will. I was also seeing an issue that people didn’t see any intrigue in these elections,” Pashinyan had said. When saying dead voters, Pashinyan was referring to accusations against the former ruling party that was widely believed to have rigged elections by using identities of deceased citizens.
Caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance won a landslide victory in the general election with 70,43 %.
Two other parties, Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Luminous Armenia (LHK), were also elected to parliament with 8,27% and 6,37% votes respectively.
The former ruling party, the Republican Party (HHK), failed to garner the minimum required votes to pass to parliament.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan