Pashinyan Wins Big in Parliamentary Elections

Voters in Armenia wait to cast their ballots. (Photo: Raffi Elliott/The Armenian Weekly)

YEREVAN—Nikol Pashinyan led his My Step coalition to a historic landslide victory on Sunday night, bringing two decades of Republican Party majority to an abrupt end. With results coming in from just over 2,000 precincts across the country, the Central Election Committee (CEC) showed My Step with 70 percent of the vote, the most substantial majority in Armenia’s parliamentary history.

Two other parties will join My Step in parliament: business tycoon Gagik Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), and the liberal Bright Armenia party with eight-percent and six-percent, respectively.

The Republican Party suffered its greatest electoral defeat ever, not only losing control of the house but with only 60 thousand votes, failing to pass the five-percent threshold for parliamentary representation. The Republican Party was quick to condemn the election as unfair. Vice President of the RPA Arpine Hovhannisyan claimed, “All the kinds of violations that were typical of previous elections are present during today’s election.” Hovhannisyan served as Justice Minister during the previous election, which she declared free and fair. The party has not formally challenged the election results officially, however.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) also lost all of its seats; the party gathered less than four-percent of the vote. Other parties including the newly-formed social-democratic “Citizen’s Choice” and the far-right Sasna Dzrer parties did not make the cut either.

At a late-night press conference shortly after the announcement of the results, Pashinyan declared, “The revolution is not over. This is only the first stage. The revolution will not be complete until all its goals are fulfilled: to turn Armenia into an economically developed country and a strong member of the international political family.”


The outgoing Republican Party seized on the seemingly modest turnout of 50 percent. Deputy Chairman Armen Ashotyan took to Facebook claiming, “This proves that the holding of the pre-term parliamentary elections in December was not a ‘popular demand’ but the result of Nikol Pashinyan’s personal political calculations and interests.” Last year’s parliamentary vote saw a voter turnout of 60 percent.

An anti-bribing poster from the Central Election Committee that reads: “No election bribing. Don’t sell your voice. Don’t sell my future.”

On Facebook Live, Pashinyan downplayed the lower turnout, arguing that voters weren’t bribed or coerced to the polling stations this year. Others have pointed to the fact that the elections list included those who had been living outside the country for decades while maintaining a local address, thus inflating the number of eligible voters.

This election process witnessed an energetic and competitive campaign period and a landmark televised debate. On voting day, eight international observation missions numbering 505 observers joined almost 18-thousand local observers belonging to 22 local organizations.

Monitors recorded much fewer violations than in previous elections, many of which involved technical issues. Incidentally, several election-related violations involved the Republican Party handing out bribes or printed voting instructions for elderly voters.

During a press conference on Monday, the European Union’s observation mission said the elections “were held with respect for fundamental freedoms and enjoyed broad public trust that needs to be preserved through further electoral reforms.” A similar conclusion was reached by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s observation mission.

At the polling stations, police officers stood watch while voters lined up to cast ballots. The crowd at precinct 9/21 on Yerevan’s Saryan Street was made up primarily younger voters. One woman told the Weekly, “This is my first time voting, the first time I felt it mattered.”

Armenians vote in the 2018 snap elections (Photo: Raffi Elliott/The Armenian Weekly)

As the CEC wraps up its final seat allocation in the new parliament, Pashinyan is laying out his priorities to voters. “Our chief priority will be to bring about an ‘economic revolution’ that would significantly reduce poverty, create many jobs and thus raise living standards in the country.”

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Raffi Elliott

Weekly Columnist & Armenia Correspondent
Raffi Elliott is a Canadian-born entrepreneur and occasional journalist who likes to ramble on about socioeconomic and political issues in Armenia. He lives in Yerevan with his family. He also holds a masters degree in International Relations.

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the facts. This is a new time and a new hope for a new future for Armenia. Every voter should firmly protect this new reality by participating as much as possible in the decision making process (which includes support and criticism where it’s due) which will affect the future of our children and of our beautiful country. This is an opportunity of a century, of a lifetime!

  2. Armenians must be one of the dumbest people on earth. Due to their hate, jealousy, tribalism, shortsightedness and political illiteracy, our self-destructive peasantry (90%-plus of Armenians today) have officially brought Levon back to power via his longtime lemming, Nikol. Nikol is Levon 2.0. Nikol is Levon by other means. So, congratulations to you all! Levon is finally back in power, albeit behind the scenes. In any case, you deserve EVERYTHING this Globalist/Western funded bunch of liberal mercenaries will bring upon Armenia’s head in the coming years. Look in the mirror to see Armenia’s main problem. Viva la revolución!

  3. Allow me to introduce you Slick Nick Pashinyan’s cronies, or shall we say his comrades.
    Armen Grigoryan- Election Program Coordinaor. How sweet, he gets to oversee election results. If it doesn’t fit Pashinyan’s agenda, he wgets to rig it in a heartbeat.
    David Sanasaryan- Head of the state audit service. He decides if you paid your taxes or not. Run RPA, he’s coming after you. BTW, this dude threw egg at the building of Russian embassy in Yerevan and demanded withdrawal of of Russian military base from Armenia. Now, he’s ‘head of a state’ 😂🤤

    Babken Ter-Grigoryan- Deputy Minister for Armenian Diaspora. <—< and this clown held a poster in front of the Russian embassy that read," Putin go F@&#k yourself".🤤
    Mane Tandilyan- Minister of Labor. Strong advocate of Armenia's withdrawal from EAEU. This lady believes Armenian goods will become high in demand in European market. Can she say 'Russia sanctions' here it comes. Anywho, what do these ministers have in common, including slick Nick? They are all sponsored and funded by Soros foundation. Good luck Armenia.

    • I wonder what Russia did for Armenia??? They are taking our brainers to Moscow with some packed cheap labor force to construct and beautify the Russian Federation, who left Armenian ladies alone with children.

      Husbands stop sending money back to their children, and Armenian mothers and children end up the agony of the Armenian style poverty line, while they enjoyed remaining in Moscow with their newly married ladies and forget about Armenia!

      Republicans the other hand gave away Armenia’s rights to Putin, who are turning Armenian born children from RF into Russia’s 102 military base. Mentally bankrupt Robert and Sejrik and corrupt oligarchs started serving to him as master and slave morality. Once corrupt oligarch or minister got his stolen money instead of going to Moscow all of sudden you find them in sunny California!

      Russia had 25 years to make Armenia a better place, but this never happened. Putin created Artsakh border war, where Armenians won the war they could easily recognize Artsakh as an independent or part of Armenia in 1994, but they did not, for their own future political adventurism and the economic benefits, where until today Axeri dictator had no other choice but to purchase modern weaponry from Putin’s control military hardware.

      We have witnessed how Putin humiliate Armenians when he came to Armenia for an official visit. Do you know where he landed?? yes in Gumri 102 military base instead of Yerevan, where Serjic kisses his aXX!

      I am sure people like you will call us Russophobes, but in reality, it is not true. I agree one thing with you, if we had “skilled” politicians and less corrupt ministers, Armenia would have been a better place for world’s Armenians, who are dreaming to live in their ancestral homeland!

  4. @GB
    Yes Putin landed at Gyumri’s Russian air base, so what? Do you know where he went straight from there? Straight to the Tsitsernakabert Genocide memorial to pay his respects while Nikol’s cronies and new ministers where holding signs saying “Putin go #@!& yourself”. Would you rather he landed at Yerevan airport like Bolton, who didn’t even spit at the memory of the Genocide?
    And by the way that 102nd Russian base is the only thin layer of protection we have between life and death of our nation. How embarrassing as a people that this is the best we can come up with, both as a government and as commentators on these forums.

  5. The “GB”s of Armenian society have always had a convoluted, upside-down view of the world they live in. They have a shallow understanding of history and politics. They see natural enemies as friends. They see natural friends as enemies. They want to be spoon fed and yet they always bite the hand that feeds them. They always overestimate themselves. They always underestimate the enemy. The “GB”s of Armenians society, and there are unfortunately a lot of them, are actually the reason why Armenia has for hundreds of years been a tiny, impoverished and weak nation on the verge of annihilation.

  6. GB, ” I wonder what Russia did for Armenia”?
    GB, Google, Treaty of Turkmenchay, and educate yourself. I assure you after finding out what Russia did for us you will have second reservation, and all other like minded Russophobes, about criticizing them.
    Bezdig khosink meds hasgetsir.

    • From Persian Empir, we end up Russian Empire, at the end our western part sold to Ottoman Turks by “comrade” Lenin. Only local Armenians won the war without Russians help in SARDARABAD war. Russia was busy with the Bolshevik revolution and creation of the Red Army in order to invade Armenia. Uncle Joe with the help of another stupid Armenian politician, Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, the darling of Churchill, who enjoyed Ararat cognac, hand over Javakht to Georgia, Artsakh, and Nakhichevan to Axeri Turks! We need to concentrate and rely on our own abilities and smartness we don’t need Russia, US, or EU. They will harm Armenia at the end. We need Armenian politicians like Putin who can maneuver the WILL of Armenian Nation of the world.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sardarabad

  7. Again we come to the expost facto argument of Russia “saving” Armenia. (Russia arms Turks against Armenians then Armenians rely on Russians for security). Dumb and incompetent Armenians working with their counterparts in Moscow from the Soviet Union never did a damn thing for the benefit of Armenia, but they did a whole lot for the benefit of Azerbaijan and Turkey. That “legacy” is still alive in Armenia’s incompetent government members and ruling class, and their minions are here on the internet touting the glory of “Mother Russia”. Never once do they think of Mother Armenia, because that is a nonexistent concept for brainwashed obedient apparatchik russobots. And this bullshit about “Armenia wouldn’t exist without Russia”, yeah so what???? And Russia wouldn’t exist in its current form without Mother Armenia either!!!!

    And here is another dose of reality for you obedient russobots. The fairy tale about “Russia gives Armenia discounts on weapons” is also another big pile of crap. The reason that Russia unloads its overstock weapons on Armenia at a “discount” is because Russia is sitting in Gyumri for FREE at the expense of the Armenian taxpayer, disguised as “keeping an eye on Turkey”, in reality entirely for the purpose as a standoff to NATO’s incirlik base. This is a brilliant plan, at the expense of incompetent and gullible Armenians. Unload your second rate weapons and offer them a “discount” while sitting in your base protecting Russia’s interests for free, and at the same time supply weapons to Azerbaijan to keep Armenians on their toes and relying on your “charity” at all times. And meanwhile, Russia offers up Turkey to build two nuclear powerplants and the S-400 missile system, while Armenia keeps the outdated junky nuclear plant and outdated S-300. Yeah that is some “ally”. And on the other side, Russia is all too happy to give Azerbaijan all the weapons it needs, and at the same time ordering Armenia to not touch Azerbaijan. Well, after all, Putin and the Aliyevs are close neighbors with their political elite neighborhood mansions in Moscow.

    Oh and by the way, Russia is starting to suspect that Armenians are starting to see through their SCAM of subjugating Armenia, while keeping close relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Just recently, they hurriedly came up with a “treaty” so that “foreign troops” would not be able to be hosted in Armenia – of course troops from Mother Russia are exempt! The retarded Armenian government of course will sign anything that it is presented with from Russia, without negotiating or demanding advantages for Armenia. And that has been the story of Armenia-Russia relations for the last century.

  8. Your comment/ statememt is irrelevant ,since there was NO free, independent Armenia before 1828? The Gulestan and Turkmenchay Treaties, signed by both, the Russians and Persians, ceded the Caucasian regions to the Russian empire. Not for the latter, most likely Armenia would still be under Persian yoke.

  9. I am upset that Belarus’s Lukashenko is trying to force Armenia to give land to Azerbaijan and that he is also supplying advanced weapons to Azerbaijan.
    He is also hostile to Pahinyan.

    Though he is married and has children, reports say that he is actually bisexual and has male lovers on the side.

  10. Belarus is another puppet and/or extension of Russia, by geographic necessity. This clown Lukashenko getting involved in Armenia’s internal affairs has nothing to do with Belarus the country, but merely words and actions of Russia which Russia does not wish to be blamed for. A sort of “testing the waters” or making veiled threats. Essentially Belarus does Russia’s dirty work, and talks all the trash which Russia does not want to officially be associated with.

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