Proshian Vote Being Contested

Entrance to Proshian Village

PROSHIAN, Armenia—The results of a special mayoral elections held in this village in the Kotayk Region Sunday are being contested, with Vova Sahakian a candidate from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation appealing to the Central Electoral Commission to demand a recount of the vote, which saw him in a close second to the Republican Party of Armenia’s Artur Mouradyan.

Sahakian’s campaign manager Taron Tonoyan told pastinfo.am of the decision to appeal the results, citing a tense environment of fraud and bribery on election day.

Sahakian, himself, did not cite specific instances of the alleged fraud, saying that once the official results are announced “the necessary steps will be taken.”

The village of Proshian was holding special election Sunday to fill the mayoral vacancy left by the April 2 murder of its previous mayor, Hratch Mouradian, who was gunned down in front of the municipal headquarters in the village center.

After the murder, which according to official statements is still under investigation, locals alleged that Mourdian, a Karabakh War veteran and an ARF member, was killed for political motives stemming from disagreements with Republican Party factions in the village.

Mouradian’s family endorsed Sahakian in the election. The latter garnered 1,241 votes to his opponent’s 1,371 votes, according to preliminary results.

Weeks after the murder, the Karabakh War Memorial in the city was desecrated on the day of Mouradian’s 40th memorial. On the same day, pictures of Mouradian were defaced with derogatory statements spray-painted on them.

One news outlet, 7or.am, in covering Sunday’s election observed that the village changed its leadership through murder.

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