Prime minister’s party set for big win in Armenian election

Yerevan, Jun 20 (EFE).- Armenians appear to have heeded Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s appeal to give him a second chance after last year’s disastrous war in Nagorno-Karabakh, giving his Civil Contract party a sweeping victory in Sunday’s snap election.

“The people of Armenia have spoken and have made a clear decision,” he told supporters in Yerevan.

With the ballots counted from more than a third of the country’s polling places, Civil Contract has 58.19 percent, compared with 18.71 percent for former President Robert Kocharyan’s Armenia Alliance, according to the Central Electoral Commission.

None of the 23 other parties and factions that fielded candidates for the 101-seat parliament met the 7 percent threshold for representation.

The electoral commission said that turnout reached 49.4 percent despite expectations that people would stay home out of disgust with the political class and the pessimism that has reigned since the military defeat against Azerbaijan.

The results also confounded polls that had pointed to a narrow victory for Kocharyan’s party.

Pashinyan called the early elections following months of opposition protests demanding that he resign after his government signed a cease-fire that relinquished lands won in previous conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated region inside the borders of Azerbaijan. EFE aj/cae/dr

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