The weekend municipal elections in Yerevan were free and fair, a senior representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) acknowledged on Monday.
Davit Hakobian joined other political leaders in congratulating Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s My Step alliance on its landslide election victory.
My Step got as much as 81 percent of the vote, compared with just 1.6 percent polled by Dashnaktsutyun. The latter will therefore have no seats in Yerevan’s new municipal council.
“We have to conclude that these were free and fair elections and we hope that after these elections a new kind of electoral struggle will take root in Armenia,” Hakobian told reporters. He said his party also hopes to see “real reforms” implemented in the country.
Commenting on the election outcome, Hakobian suggested that most voters in Yerevan primarily expressed confidence in Pashinian, rather than chose programs and policies promised by the 12 parties and blocs that took part in the mayoral race.
During the election campaign Pashinian repeatedly portrayed the September 23 vote as a referendum on his and his government’s political future. He said on Monday that he now has a fresh mandate to push for the early conduct of parliamentary elections.
Arsen Hambardzumian, the head of Dashnaktsutyun’s governing body in Armenia, said later in the day that his party is ready to take part in consultations which Pashinian plans to hold with various political forces for that purpose.
“In the last few months there has been no change in our position on this issue,” Hambardzumian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “Therefore, I see nothing inappropriate in joining political discussions on the time frame and road map for holding pre-term parliamentary elections.”
Dashnaktsutyun is represented in Pashinian’s government by two ministers. The government’s policy program approved the National Assembly in June calls for the snap polls to be held by June 2019.