Armenia - elections

Mon 26 May 2003

The Central Election Commission (CEC) unveiled on 31 May the final results of the 25 May parliamentary elections. The pro-presidential Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) headed by incumbent Prime Minister Andranik Markarian has won the most votes and receives a total of 35 seats in the 131-deputy parliament; the also pro-presidential Orinats Yerkir (Law-Based State), 18; the opposition Artarutiun bloc, 17; the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun (HHD), 11; the opposition National Unity Party, nine; and the United Labor Party, which also backs the incumbent president, six seats. Spokesmen for Artarutiun said the bloc will appeal those figures with the Constitutional Court. Voter turnout was estimated at 51 percent.

The International monitoring mission said that while the 25 May vote was "a marked improvement" over the February-March presidential election, it "failed to meet international standards in several key areas. The opposition parties, however, refused to accept the results, and claimed they were falsified. The OSCE mission also deplored a shooting incident on the eve of the elections, in which a former police officer was killed in front of a polling station.

The current prime minister Andranik Markarian receives the responsibility to form the new cabinet. Markarian said there will be some changes in the composition of the government over the next 20-25 days, but at the same time he made clear that the HHK will not cede control of the defence and security ministries. The two pro-presidential (and pro-government) parties who were third and fourth in the elections (Orinants Yerkir and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) will also be invited in the cabinet.