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Ruling Party ‘Confident’ About Election Victory


Armenia -- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and other delegates attend a congress of the ruling Civil Contract party, Yerevan, June 16, 2019.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s Civil Contract party expects to win more votes than any other political force in Armenia’s upcoming parliamentary elections, a senior official said on Friday.

Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Pashinian’s Security Council, said opinion polls show that roughly one in three Armenians plan to vote for the party.

“These numbers are a certain indication of possible election results,” Grigorian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “We also have a high percentage [of support] among undecided citizens.”

“Let’s wait and see. It’s hard to make a forecast but we are going for the elections to once again receive the people’s mandate,” he said.

Pashinian first expressed readiness to hold the early elections in December amid angry protests triggered by Armenia’s defeat in a six-week war with Azerbaijan. Opposition forces blamed him for the defeat and demanded that he hand over power to an interim government.

Pashinian and his team said on February 7 that they see no need for snap polls because of what they called a lack of “public demand.” The anti-government protests resumed on February 20 before the Armenian military’s top brass added its voice the opposition demands for the government’s resignation.

The prime minister announced on March 18 that the polls will take place after all. They are unofficially slated for June 20.

Grigorian ruled out the possibility of post-election power-sharing agreements between Civil Contract and opposition blocs led by former Presidents Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. But he was less categorical about possible coalition deals with other opposition forces.

“I think it will be more logical to discuss such issues after the election results,” added the official.

Civil Contract teamed up with other Pashinian allies to participate in the last elections held in December 2018. Their My Step bloc garnered 70 percent of the vote at the time.

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