Armenia to hold snap elections
Armenia will hold snap elections on June 20, 2021. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made the announcement following the March 18 meeting with Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of the Prosperous Armenia faction.
“During the meeting, we agreed that early parliamentary elections are the best way out of the current domestic political situation. Taking into account the discussions I had with the President of the Republic of Armenia, with the My Step faction, with the leader of the Bright Armenia faction Edmon Marukyan, on June 20 of this year, special parliamentary elections will be held in the Republic of Armenia,” cites Public Radio of Armenia the statement on Pashinyan‘s Facebook page.
Just recently, on February 7, the ruling “My step party” announced that it will not pursue early parliamentary elections. “The prime minister’s proposal to hold snap parliamentary elections did not receive a positive response from the parliamentary opposition. There was no demand for the early elections among the general public, either,” claimed the ruling coalition at that time.
However, a recent poll from the International Republican Institute found otherwise: 55% of respondents said they were in favour of snap elections. Of those, 57% said the elections should take place this spring. A further 13% said they should take place by summer.
Not everyone in opposition is satisfied with this step. “Holding elections under Nikol Pashinyan or a proxy successor of his will lead to terrible consequences,” declared Vazgen Manukyan, the prime minister nominee of a coalition of opposition parties called the Homeland Salvation Movement at a March 15 rally.
Eduard Sharmazanov, a spokesperson for the Republican Party, accused Pashinian of “bluffing”. “When he resigns, then the Republican Party will discuss the possibility of participating,” he told reporters. As Eurasianet reminds, even Pashinyan’s political mentor, former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, “recently weighed in to oppose elections conducted by the current authorities”.
“The prime minister and his political force, attempting to avoid responsibility for their disgraceful defeat, are guided not by concern for the consolidation of the state but solely by an obsession with maintaining power at all costs. If snap elections are organised by the ruling power, they will not shy away from the widespread use of administrative resources,” he said last month. “I am convinced that in that case, we will witness the most disgraceful elections in the history of Armenia. And that could mean the end of Armenian statehood,” cites Eurasianet the former president.