ARF Candidate Thanks Voters, Calls for Unity
The chairwoman of the Artsakh’s Central Electoral Commission on Wednesday announced that none of the 14 presidential candidates reached the 50 percent threshold of votes during Tuesday’s national elections, thus forcing a runoff in the presidential elections. She also announced that five parties will be represented in Artsakh’s National Assembly, each earning more than the required five percent of votes.
Srbuhi Arzumanyan, the CEC chairwoman, said during a press briefing Wednesday that the runoff elections will be held on April 14.
In making the announcement, Arzumanyan said that of the 104,348 eligible registered voters, 76,728—or 73.5 percent—participated in Tuesday’s elections.
She explained that there were 2,625—or 3.5 percent—invalid votes, where voters had not filled out their ballots properly.
Leading the votes in Tuesday’s presidential polls was former Artsakh State and Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan who received 36,076, or 49.26 percent of the votes. Artsakh Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan came in second with 19,360, or 26.4 percent of the votes. In third place was Vitaly Balasyanyan with 10,755, or 14.7 percent of the votes. In fourth and fifth place were Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Davit Ishkhanyan and Artsakh Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulyan with 1,873 (2.56 percent) and 1,683 (2.3 percent) votes respectively.
ARF candidate Ishkanyan, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, thanked all voters who “put their trust in the ARF and me.”
“The elections that took place in Artsakh demonstrated that each of us treats the future of our nation with great responsibility and is well aware of the importance of individual participation on that road,” Ishkhanyan said in his message to voters.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all those who trusted and cast their vote for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and me, as a candidate for president of Artsakh.” said Ishkhanyan.
“The ARF has always been accountable to the people and responsible for its positions. Unity for all. Stay healthy,” concluded Ishkhanyan.
Arzumanyan, the Artsakh CEC chairwoman, said explained that political parties needed five percent of the votes to retain seats in parliament, while the threshold for political blocs, or alliances, was seven percent. As such, she reported, five parties and blocs will be represented in Artsakh’s new legislature. They are:
Free Homeland bloc with 29,688 (40.4%) of votes;
Unified Homeland Party with 17 365 (23.63%) of votes;
Justice for Artsakh Party with 5,865 (7.9%) of votes;
Armenian Revolutionary Federation with 4,717 (6.4%) of votes; and
Democratic Party of Artsakh with 4,269 (5.81%) of votes.
Arzumanyan said that the final tally for the distribution of seats in the parliament will be publicized in seven day. However, she said, based on preliminary results the Free Homeland bloc will have 16 seats; the Unified Homeland Party will have nine seats; with the Justice for Artsakh Party and ARF each receiving three seats; and the Democratic Party of Artsakh will have two seats.