“If we want stability to be restored after the elections … we are asking, expecting, urging and hoping that the Civil Contract will get 60 percent of the vote in the elections,” Pashinian said during a weekend visit to Armenia’s Lori province.
“This is necessary so that we open an era of peaceful development,” he told local supporters. “We don’t need other scenarios. We want the elections to take place so that we get back to solving our security, economic, educational and social problems.”
According to an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) and conducted across Armenia from April 8 through May 4, only 26 percent of people were ready to vote for Pashinian’s party, down from 33 percent reported by the IRI in February. As much as 55 percent of respondents were undecided about whom to back in the snap elections scheduled for June 20.
The latest IRI poll was conducted before the outbreak of a military standoff on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan which has left one Armenian soldier dead and six others captured by Azerbaijani forces. Some observers believe that the continuing border dispute has dealt a further blow to Pashinian’s approval rating.
Pashinian and his allies won 70 percent of the vote in the last elections held in December 2018 seven months after a “velvet revolution” that brought them to power. The upcoming vote is supposed to end a continuing political crisis caused by last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Virtually all opposition groups have blamed Pashinian for Armenia’s defeat in the war. Some of them staged street protest late last year and in February and March in a bid to force him to resign.