Leader of the opposition Yerkir Tsirani party Zaruhi Postanjian on Wednesday filed an action with the administrative court to annul the results of the May 14 municipal elections in Yerevan.
Yerkir Tsirani finished third in the race of three political forces with 8 percent of the vote and will have five members in the 65-seat Council of Elders dominated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Last week the opposition party appealed the results of the vote at the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) demanding that it annul the outcome of the elections due to “large-scale fraud implemented by the HHK with the assistance of police officers” that, according to the party, included vote buying, guidance of voters, as well as violence against Postanjian and her proxy.
The CEC turned down the application, arguing that no evidence was provided to substantiate Yerkir Tsirani’s claim.
After submitting her claim to the administrative court, Postanjian again insisted in an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the HHK won the elections due to fraud and pressure on voters.
“Citizens did not have the opportunity to exercise their voting right, and some, being intimidated, did not even participate in the elections,” Postanjian claimed. “Because for them it was clear that if a mayoral candidate and a proxy can be subjected to violence, then how can it be an election?”
Postanjian, who ran for mayor in the May 14 ballot, personally went to one of HHK campaign offices located in HHK candidate, incumbent mayor Taron Markarian’s home district of Avan on the day of the voting to expose what she claimed was a vote buying scheme. Along with her daughter, Lilit Drampian, who also acted as her proxy she was forced out of the HHK premises by police officers called in by ruling party activists.
In a statement released shortly after the incident Postanjian, then a member of the National Assembly, claimed violence was used against her and her daughter, who suffered a concussion. She also deplored the lack of response from appropriate law-enforcement bodies to the incident. The Special Investigative Service of Armenia later launched two probes in connection with the incident.
Representatives of the HHK deny using any vote buying or pressuring voters in any elections, insisting that the votes garnered by the party show that it remains the most popular political force in Armenia.