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27 Parties, Blocs Seek To Run For Armenian Parliament


Armenia - Representatives of the ruling Civil Contract party submit election registration documents to the Central Electoral Commission, Yerevan, May 26, 2021

Twenty-three political parties and four alliances have applied to run in Armenia’s upcoming snap parliamentary elections.

They all submitted the lists of their election candidates and other registration documents to the Central Election Commission (CEC) by Wednesday’s legal deadline for such applications.

The CEC has five days to process the applications. It has rarely barred candidates from participating in elections in the past.

Political forces will be vying for at least 101 seats in Armenia’s new parliament that will be elected on June 20 under the system of proportional representation.

Under Armenian law, the parties need to win at least 5 percent of the vote in order to be represented in the National Assembly. The vote threshold for blocs is set at 7 percent.

Only three groups -- the ruling My Step bloc and the opposition Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Bright Armenia (LHK) parties -- cleared these thresholds in the last general elections held in December 2018. My Step, which mostly comprises members of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s Civil Contract party, won 70 percent of the vote at the time.

Civil Contract is running for the parliament on its own this time around. Analysts believe that the party will struggle to retain its majority in the parliament and keep Pashinian in power.

Among other major contenders are the political forces led by Armenia’s three former presidents: Levon Ter-Petrosian, Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian.

Unlike Ter-Petrosian and Kocharian, Sarkisian is not on the list of candidates of his opposition bloc. He has said that he will not seek to become prime minister or hold any other government position in case of its victory.

By contrast, Kocharian makes no secret of his desire to return to power. He heads the Hayastan (Armenia) bloc which he and two opposition parties set up earlier this month.

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