Yerevan’s incumbent mayor Taron Margaryan and his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) have won Sunday’s municipal elections. Preliminary results published by Armenia’s Central Election Commission gave the party 71.45% of the vote, which means that the RPA will get the majority of seats in the new city council.
The opposition Yelk alliance and its mayoral candidate Nikol Pashinyan got 21.2% of the vote, and the third contender, opposition lawmaker Zaruhi Postanjyan’s Yerkir Tsirani party, got only 8%.
According to the CEC, only 40.99% of Yerevan’s eligible voting population turned out to vote in the election, which the opposition candidates claim were marred by widespread voter fraud, including vote-buying and ballot-box stuffing.
Just days before the election, Yelk appealed to the CEC, demanding that the ruling party be disqualified from the race because Taron Margaryan’s campaign office, they argued, had been filmed by a Yerevan reporter distributing bribes and pre-marked ballot papers among citizens. The CEC, however, denied the appeal, claiming that the Yelk demand was groundless.