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Opposition Party Not To Boycott New Yerevan Assembly


Armenia - Opposition leader Zaruhi Postanjian leads a pre-election bycicle ride through downtown Yerevan, 21Apr2017.

Opposition leader Zaruhi Postanjian said on Monday that her Yerkir Tsirani party will take up its seats in Yerevan’s new municipal council despite rejecting as fraudulent the official results of local elections held on May 14.

According to those results, Yerkir Tsirani garnered roughly 8 percent of the vote that earned it 5 seats in the 65-member council.

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will control 46 seats, meaning that its top election candidate, Taron Markarian, will be reelected by the legislature as Yerevan mayor. The remaining 14 seats were won by the opposition Yelk alliance.

Yerkir Tsirani has refused to recognize the election outcome, accusing the HHK of buying votes and resorting to other serious irregularities. The Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected on May 21 its demands to annul the official vote results.

The party set up by Postanjian in March responded by appealing to Armenia’s Administrative Court. The court is expected to rule on the appeal on Wednesday.

Postanjian acknowledged that the court is extremely unlikely to invalidate the mayoral elections. Nevertheless, she said, Yerkir Tsirani will not boycott the new city council because it believes it can seriously reduce corruption within the municipal administration.

“Those who usurped power in both the entire country and the [Yerevan] municipality will feel our resistance and, of course, attacks on our part,” Postanjian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “We will keep them from stealing. For years they have been engaged in theft and have misappropriated public funds. This will now be under our scrutiny.”

“Every penny to be spent by them will be exposed and publicized,” added the outspoken oppositionist. “They will not find it easy to carry on with the embezzlement and theft.”

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