2021 Armenian parliamentary election

Snap parliamentary elections were held in Armenia on 20 June 2021. The elections had initially been scheduled for 9 December 2023, but were called earlier due to a political crisis following the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War and an alleged attempted coup in February 2021.[1]

2021 Armenian parliamentary election
Armenia
← 2018 20 June 2021 Next →

All 101 seats in the National Assembly
(plus additional and leveling seats)
51 seats needed for a majority
Turnout49.37%
Party Leader % Seats ±
Civil Contract Nikol Pashinyan 53.95 71 -17
Armenia Alliance Robert Kocharyan 21.11 29 New
I Have Honor Alliance Arthur Vanetsyan 5.22 7 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Nikol Pashinyan (2018-05-14).jpg Nikol Pashinyan (Interim)
My Step Alliance
Nikol Pashinyan
Civil Contract
Nikol Pashinyan (2018-05-14).jpg

Nikol Pashinyan, who had served as Prime Minister since 2018, resigned in April 2021 and subsequently the seventh National Assembly was dissolved on 10 May.[2] Pashinyan continued to serve as acting prime minister until the elections were held. Following the election, Pashinyan's Civil Contract party received 54% of the vote and won 71 seats, a majority in the 107-seat parliament. The opposition Armenia Alliance, finished second with 29 seats, while the I Have Honor Alliance won 7 seats.[3] No other party or alliance surpassed the electoral threshold required to win a seat. The opposition claimed there had been electoral fraud during the elections,[4] while the OSCE assessed the election as "marred by increasingly inflammatory rhetoric" but was "positive overall."[5]

BackgroundEdit

After six weeks of war with Azerbaijan, on 9 November 2020 prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Russian president Vladimir Putin reached and signed a ceasefire agreement.[6] Following the announcement of this deal, violent protests erupted in Yerevan. The National Assembly was stormed and its speaker Ararat Mirzoyan was beaten by an angry mob.[7]

Pashinyan faced continuous calls for his resignation and mass rallies calling for him to step down.[8] On 25 February 2021, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Onik Gasparyan and more than 40 other top-ranking generals demanded Pashinyan's resignation, which Pashinyan described as a coup attempt, causing a political crisis that ended with Gasparyan's dismissal.[9]

On 25 April 2021, Pashinyan announced his formal resignation, prompting the dissolution of the National Assembly and the call for snap elections on 20 June of that year.[10]

Electoral systemEdit

The members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected by party-list proportional representation. The number of seats is at least 101, and rises when allocation of additional seats is required. Seats are allocated using the d'Hondt method with an election threshold of 5% for parties and 7% for multi-party alliances.[11][12] However, a minimum of three political groups will enter parliament, regardless of the performance of the third-best performing party or alliance.[3]

Seats are allocated to parties using their national share of the vote. Four seats are reserved for national minorities (Assyrians, Kurds, Russians and Yazidis), with parties having separate lists for the four groups.[12] A gender quota requires any top section of a party list to include at least 33% candidates of each gender.[13]

If a party receives a majority of the vote but wins less than 54% of the seats, they will be awarded additional seats to give them 54% of the total. If one party wins over two-thirds of the seats, the losing parties which made it over the threshold will be given extra seats reducing the share of seats of the winning party to two-thirds. If a government is not formed within six days of the preliminary results being released, a run-off round between the top two parties must be held on the 28th day. The party that wins the run-off will be given the additional seats required for a 54% majority, with all seats allocated in the first round preserved.[12]

COVID-19 pandemicEdit

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia, the government has implemented inconsistent health measures. The Electoral Code does not provide for mail-in voting or early voting.[14]

ScheduleEdit

Participating parties and alliances were required to submit applications with all supporting documentation by 18:00 on 26 May. The electoral lists of the political parties and alliances of parties were registered by 31 May.[15]

The official election campaign took place from 7 to 18 June.[16] Voting took place on 20 June from 8am to 8pm.[17]

Participating political forcesEdit

Four alliances and 23 parties submitted documents to Armenia's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) in order to register for the elections.[18] This is a significant increase in the number of parties competing, as only nine parties and two alliances had competed in the parliamentary elections held two years earlier.[19] Several of the parties and all of the alliances were established in 2020 or 2021, following Armenia's defeat in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. In total, four alliances and 23 parties participated in the election.[20]

Ballot number Name of Party or Alliance Allied parties (candidates each) Candidate for Prime Minister Key figures, other candidates Domestic policy Geopolitical orientation Ideologyb Open to coalition with Number of candidates (main list + minority list - denied registration)d
Civil Contract?c Armenia Alliance?c
1. Fair Armenia Party
«Արդար Հայաստան» կուսակցություն
Norayr Norikyan Centrist Pro-European, Pro-Russian Big tent, economic liberalism yes yes 85+0-1
2. Armenian National Congress Party (HAK)
«Հայ Ազգային Կոնգրես» Կուսակցություն
Levon Ter-Petrosyan (former President, 1991–98) Levon Zurabyan Centrist Pro-European, Pro-Western, Pro-Russian Social liberalism no[21] yes[22] 101+3-0
3. Civil Contract
«Քաղացիական պայմանագիր» կուսակցություն
United Labor Party,
Mighty Homeland Party
Nikol Pashinyan (incumbent Prime Minister, since 2018) Ararat Mirzoyan, Lilit Makunts, Suren Papikyan, Khachatur Sukiasyan Centrist Pro-European, Pro-Western, Pro-Russian Liberalism, populism, reformism, anti-corruption N/A no 157+4-0
4. Awakening National Christian Party
«Զարթոնք» ազգային քրիստոնեական կուսակցություն
Ara Zohrabyan Centre-right Christian democracy maybe 101+0-9
5. Freedom Party
«Ազատություն» կուսակցություն
Hrant Bagratyan Modern liberalism [23] no[24] yes 86+0-3
6. I Have Honor Alliancea
«Պատիվ ունեմ» դաշինք
Republican Party (137), Homeland Party (45) Artur Vanetsyan Serzh Sargsyan (Former President, 2008–18), Taron Margaryan Right Pro-Russian National conservatism, Armenian nationalism no yes 230+0-0
7. United Homeland Party
«Միասնական Հայրենիք» կուսակցություն
Lusine Avagyan Mher Terteryan Pro-Russian Armenian nationalism 88+0-0
8. All-Armenian National Statehood Party
«Համահայկական ազգային պետականություն» (ՀԱՊ) կուսակցություն
Artur Vardanyan 82+0-0
9. Bright Armenia Party (LHK)
«Լուսավոր Հայաստան» կուսակցություն
Edmon Marukyan Gevorg Gorgisyan, David Khazhakyan, Ani Samsonyan Centrist Pro-Western, Pro-European Classical liberalism Against any coalition if candidate for PM is Pashinyan or Kocharyan.

May be open to coalition with either of them if Marukyan is candidate.

107+0-0
10. Armenia is Our Home Party
«Մեր տունը Հայաստանն է» կուսակցություն
Alliance Party Tigran Urikhanyan Ara Abrahamyan Centrist Pro-Russian improbable maybe 88+0-0
11. Republic Party
«Հանրապետություն» կուսակցություն
Aram Z. Sargsyan Artak Zeynalyan Centrist Pro-Western, Pro-European Conservative liberalism yes no (only in state of war[25]) 103+0-0
12. Homeland of Armenians Party
«Հայոց Հայրենիք» կուսակցություն
Artak Galstyan Vardan Ghukasyan 91+0-1
13. Free Homeland Alliancea
«Ազատ Հայրենիք» դաշինք
Union for National Self-Determination (23),
Armenian Constructive Party (21),
Conservative Party (8),
National Democrats Union (7),
Green Party (6)
Andreas Ghukasyan Mikael Hayrapetyan, Paruyr Hayrikyan, Arshak Sadoyan Pro-Western, Pro-European, Anti-Russian no no 83+0-2
14. Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK)
«Բարգավաճ Հայաստան» կուսակցություն
Gagik Tsarukyan Arman Abovyan Centre-right Pro-Russian Conservatism, Euroscepticism improbable maybe 93+3-1
15. Democratic Party of Armenia
Հայաստանի դեմոկրատական կուսակցություն
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (4) Tigran Arzakantsyan e Aram G. Sargsyan Left Pro-Russian Democratic socialism maybe 88+0-2
16. 5165 National Conservative Movement Party
«5165 ազգային պահպանողական շարժում» կուսակցություն
Karin Tonoyan Armenian nationalism 95+0-0
17. Citizen's Decision Social-Democratic Party
«Քաղաքացու որոշում սոցիալ դեմոկրատական» կուսակցություն
Suren Sahakyan Left Social democracy, environmentalism, direct democracy maybe
18. Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democratsa
«Շիրինյան- Բաբաջանյան ժողովրդավարների դաշինք» դաշինք
Christian-Democratic Rebirth Party (48),
For The Republic Party (38)
Arman Babajanyan Levon Shirinyan, Stepan Safaryan Pro-Western, Pro-European Liberalism maybe improbable 90+0-1
19. National Agenda Party
«Ազգային օրակարգ» կուսակցություն
Ara Hakobyan Centre-right Pro-Russian Armenian nationalism, Armenia-Artsakh unification no maybe 84+0-1
20. Rise Party
«Վերելք» կուսակցություն
Aleksan Minasyan Armenian nationalism improbable maybe 81+0-0
21. Liberal Party
«Ազատական» կուսակցություն
Samvel Babayan Pro-European Liberalism 80+0-0
22. Armenian Eagles Unified Armenia Party
«Հայոց Արծիվներ Միասնական Հայաստան» կուսակցություն
Khachik Asryan Armenian nationalism 86+0-0
23. European Party of Armenia (EPA)
«Հայաստանի Եվրոպական» կուսակցություն
Tigran Khzmalyan Ruben Hakhverdyan Centrist Pro-Western, Pro-European, Anti-Russian Liberalism maybe improbable 90+0-1
24. Armenia Alliancea
«Հայաստան» դաշինք
ARF (78),
Reborn Armenia (29),
One Armenia (1)
Robert Kocharyan (Former President, 1998–2008) Vahe Hakobyan, Armen Rustamyan, Seyran Ohanyan, Artsvik Minasyan Centre-left Pro-Russian Armenian nationalism no N/A 153+3-0
25. National Democratic Pole
«Ազգային-ժողովրդավարական բևեռ» կուսակցություն
Sasna Tsrer Pan-Armenian Party, National Progress Party of Armenia Vahe Gasparyan Jirair Sefilian, Varuzhan Avetisyan Pro-Western, Pro-European, Anti-Russian Armenian nationalism improbable improbable 114+0-4
26. Sovereign Armenia Party
«Ինքնիշխան Հայաստան» կուսակցություն
Davit Sanasaryan Centrist Pro-Western, Pro-European no no 85+1-0

Notes:

  • ^a Registered as an alliance, implying 7% election threshold
  • ^b Diverse estimates.
  • ^c Yes/No - as claimed; other info - as estimated.
  • ^d 5% for parties and 7% for registered alliances.
  • ^e was removed from election list after failing to prove residency in Armenia[26]

Declined participation or failed to registerEdit

The Christian-Democratic Rebirth Party decided to withdraw its application to participate in the elections as an independent entity; instead the party participated as a part of the Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democrats.[27]

On 7 June, leader of the Armenian Eagles Unified Armenia Party, Khachik Asryan, said that his party is terminating their election campaign and won't participate in elections. He called to cancel elections at large until the border regions of Armenia are liberated from Azerbaijani occupation.[28]

EndorsementsEdit

Armenian National Congress
Individuals
Armenia Alliance
Individuals
I Have Honor Alliance
Individuals
Bright Armenia
Individuals

Foreign elections monitoring missionsEdit

Eight monitoring missions, including from the OSCE/ODIHR and the CIS registered to observe the elections.[39] A total of 250 short-term observers arrived from the ODHIR[40] and 70 observers from various CIS countries, monitored the elections.[41]

There were 8 monitoring missions in the 2018 parliamentary elections[42] and 6 missions in the 2017 parliamentary elections.[43]

Opinion pollsEdit

Date Pollster Armenia Alliance
(ՀԴ=HD)

#24

My Step / CC
(ՔՊ=QP)

#3

I'm honored / RPA
(ՀՀԿ=HHK)

#6

PAP
(ԲՀԿ=BHK)

#14

Bright Armenia
(ԼՀԿ=LHK)

#9

FD
(ԱԴ)

#5

Republic
(ՀԿ=HP)

#11

NDP / ST
(ԱԺԲ/ՍԾ)

#25

ARF
(ՀՅԴ)
11-18 June Gallup International Armenia 28.7 25.2 10.8 5.4 5.2 - 2.6 0.7 -
31 May-16 June Armenian Election Study 12 24 1 2 - - 2 2 -
6-10 June 2021 Gallup International Armenia 24.1 23.8 7.4 3.7 3.1 - 2.3 0.8 -
31 May - 4 June 2021 Gallup International Armenia 20.6 22.4 3.9 4.2 2.9 - 2.1 1.5 -
25–28 May 2021 Gallup International Armenia 17.5 22.9 2.7 3.8 2.3 - 2.8 1.7 -
18–21 May 2021 Gallup International Armenia 14.3

34 seats (33+1)

32% seats

24.8

61 seats (58+3)[44]

58% seats

3.1 4.1

10 seats

9.5% seats

2.0 - 2.5 1 -
23–27 Apr 2021 Gallup International Armenia 8.1 27.2 1.8 3․7 1.8 - - 1.1 1.1
26–29 Mar 2021 Gallup International Armenia 5.9 31.7 2.4 4.4 2.7 - 0.4 0.5 2.1
8 April–4 May 2021 IRI/Breavis - 26 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
15–17 Feb 2021 Gallup International Armenia - 33.1 2.2 4.4 2.6 - 0.7 0.4 2.2
8–16 Feb 2021 IRI/Breavis - 33 1 3 1 - - 1 1
10–27 June 2020 Gallup International Armenia - 55 1.4 6 5 - - 0.1 1.8
9 Nov–1 Dec 2019 Gallup International Armenia [1] - 61.3 1.5 14.2 3.9 - - 1.1 2.5
20 Sep–13 Oct 2019 IRI/Breavis - 55 4 19 6 1 1 - 3
6–31 May 2019 IRI/Breavis - 59 5 12 4 - - 1 4
30 Apr–9 May 2019 Gallup International Armenia - 60 1.6 11.9 4.6 - - 1.21 1.6
9 Dec 2018 Parliamentary elections 70.42 4.70 8.26 6.37 2.00

ResultsEdit

In the evening of 20 June, Tigran Mukuchyan, head of the Central Electoral Commission announced the preliminary results; Pashinyan's Civil Contract party was leading with 58.5 percent of the vote and 72 seats of the National Assembly, 16 less than in 2018, while former President Robert Kocharyan's Armenia Alliance had 18.8 percent with 27 seats.[3] The third political force was I Have Honor Alliance, with 5.23 percent and 6 seats.[3][note 1]

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed victory in the snap election but moments later Kocharyan's alliance rejected the outcome, saying it would not recognize the results until alleged voting irregularities were addressed. Meanwhile, Tigran Mukuchyan stated "On the whole, the election was conducted in accordance with the country's legislation."[45]

President Armen Sarkissian called on his compatriots to remain peaceful, because it would be unacceptable to "overstep political and moral boundaries, escalate the situation and foment hatred and enmity".[3]

On 21 June, the Central Electoral Commission confirmed the results.[46]

On 22 June, Kocharyan stated in an interview, and in the face of speculation that the elected Armenia Alliance deputies would not accept the position in an attempt to boycott parliament, that he believed they should accept it but "I don't see myself in the parliament because I am more of an executive". At the same time, he affirmed that the alliance would soon submit to the Constitutional Court a report proving the existence of violations of the electoral procedure. He also acknowledged that the cause of his defeat could be the lack of work during the campaign in rural areas.[47]

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Civil Contract688,76153.9571–17[a]
Armenia Alliance269,48121.1129New
I Have Honor Alliance66,6505.227New
Prosperous Armenia50,4443.950–26
Hanrapetutyun Party38,7583.0400
Armenian National Congress19,6911.5400
Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democrats19,2121.5000
National Democratic Pole18,9761.490New
Bright Armenia15,5911.220–18
5165 National Conservative Movement Party15,5491.220New
Liberal Party14,9361.170New
Homeland of Armenians Party13,1301.030New
Armenia is Our Home12,1490.950New
Democratic Party of Armenia5,0200.3900
Awakening National Christian Party4,6190.360New
Free Homeland Alliance4,1190.320New
Sovereign Armenia Party3,9150.310New
Fair Armenia Party3,9140.310New
Citizen's Decision3,7750.3000
European Party of Armenia2,4400.190New
Freedom Party1,8440.1400
Rise Party1,2330.100New
United Homeland Party9640.080New
All-Armenian National Statehood Party8030.060New
National Agenda Party7190.060New
Total1,276,693100.00107–25
Valid votes1,276,69399.63
Invalid/blank votes4,6820.37
Total votes1,281,375100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,595,33449.37
Source: news.am, CEC, Hetq

ReactionsEdit

International
  •   Council of Europe: The Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić sent a congratulatory message to Nikol Pashinyan on the successful conduct of the parliamentary elections and confirmed that the elections were generally well organized. The statement further read, "I reaffirm the readiness of the Council of Europe to continue to support Armenia in the reform process, based on the standards of human rights, democracy and the rule of law."[48]
  •   European Union: President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said "warm congratulations to Nikol Pashinyan on elections victory. The EU stands by Armenia in support of deepening reforms. We are also ready to further support regional stabilisation and comprehensive conflict settlement."[49]
  •   Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: OSCE said in a statement that the elections were "competitive and generally well-managed within a short timeframe." The OSCE observers noted that they were "characterized by intense polarization and marred by increasingly inflammatory rhetoric among key contestants" but assessed the election day and the vote count "positively overall."[5]
  •   United States: The United States Department of State issued a press statement congratulating the Armenian people and acknowledging that "voters’ human rights and fundamental freedoms were generally respected, contestants were able to campaign freely, and that ODIHR assessed election-day vote counting as positive." Also called for "respect the results of these elections once certified, employ the legal election grievance process to address issues of concern, and avoid political retaliation."[50]
  •   Canada: The Canadian Foreign Ministry congratulated Armenian authorities on concluding successful parliamentary elections. “We look forward to collaborating with our Armenian partners to continue our efforts to promote democracy in the country as well as a resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict”, the statement read.[51]
  •   Russia: Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Pashinyan won a "convincing victory."[52]
Armenia and Diaspora
  • The Future Armenian public initiative congratulated the citizens of Armenia on concluding snap parliamentary elections during difficult times for the country, and expressed a hope that "the representatives of the elected parties will serve by working hard to ensure solidarity across all Armenians, overcoming unprecedented challenges to strengthen the state and nation”.[53]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Compared to the My Step Alliance.
  1. ^ Although the coalition did not reach the 7% of votes required to enter the Assembly, the Assembly's regulations require that at least three political forces be represented, regardless of whether they reach 7% of the total votes.[3]
  1. ^ "Armenia PM says open to early elections to end crisis". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  2. ^ "Voting for Election of Prime Minister Takes Place". www.parliament.am. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ովքե՞ր են ԱԺ-ում հայտնված նոր պատգամավորները․ նախնական տվյալներ". factor.arm (in Armenian). 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Armenia election: PM Nikol Pashinyan wins post-war poll". BBC. 21 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Armenia's early parliamentary elections were competitive and well run, but polarized and marred by aggressive rhetoric, international observers say". www.osce.org. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  6. ^ "Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia sign Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal". BBC. 10 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Armenian parliament speaker injured by protesters, prime minister says". TASS. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Rival Rallies In Yerevan As Armenia Reels From Nagorno-Karabakh Truce", RFE/RL, retrieved 22 June 2021
  9. ^ "Armenia's armed forces demand resignation of PM and government: Ifax". Reuters. 25 February 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  10. ^ Khojoyan, Sara; Halpin, Anthony (25 April 2021). "Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan Resigns Before New Elections". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  11. ^ All Change in Armenia Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 8 December 2015
  12. ^ a b c Parliamentary elections 2 April 2017: OSCE/ODIHR needs assessment mission report OSCE
  13. ^ Manougian, Harout (28 August 2018). "Հայաստանի ընտրական նոր օրենսգիրքը. կանանց և ազգային փոքրամասնությունների քվոտաներ". EVN Report (in Armenian). Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  14. ^ Manougian, Harout (20 April 2021). "How Will Armenians With COVID-19 Vote on Election Day". EVN Report. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  15. ^ "23 political parties and 4 alliances apply to Armenia Central Electoral Commission ahead of snap parliamentary elections". news.am. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  16. ^ Sargsyan, Lusine; Manougian, Harout (3 June 2021). "Armenia's June 2021 Parliamentary Election: The Essential Primer". EVN Report. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Central Electoral Commission of Armenia: Election campaign will start on June 7". news.am. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  18. ^ "Գրանցման համար փաստաթղթեր է ներկայացրել 23 կուսակցություն և կուսակցությունների 4 դաշինք". www.elections.am. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  19. ^ Avedian, Lillian (9 June 2021). "A guide to Armenia's June 2021 parliamentary election". Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Opposition Alliance Rallies In Yerevan Ahead Of Early Poll". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2021-06-19.
  21. ^ "Միայն այնպիսի կոալիցիա կարող է ստեղծվել, որտեղ չկա Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը․ Զուրաբյան".
  22. ^ "Armenia 1st President doesn't rule out formation of coalition with Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan after elections". news.am.
  23. ^ "Armenia: Former Prime Minister Launches Party". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
  24. ^ "Armenia opposition party leader says he's ready to form coalition with all forces, except for ruling party". news.am.
  25. ^ "Արամ Սարգսյանը' Քոչարյանի և Փաշինյանի հետ համագործակցության մասին".
  26. ^ "ԿԸՀ-ն չեղարկել է ՀԴԿ պատգամավորի թեկնածուի գրանցումը". news.am (in Armenian).
  27. ^ Узел, Кавказский. "2620 кандидатов зарегистрированы на парламентских выборах в Армении". Кавказский Узел. Retrieved 2021-06-03.
  28. ^ "Armenia opposition party leader terminates election campaign, calls on canceling snap elections". news.am. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
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