After preliminary results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections were publicized, the opposition Armenia (Hayastan) Alliance, led by former president Robert Kocharian, announced that it will challenge the election results, citing what it called “systemic” fraud.
The Armenia Alliance, which also includes the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, came in second place in Sunday’s elections, garnering 21.04 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results released by the country’s Central Electoral Commission.
In an announcement issued on Monday, the Armenia Alliance expressed its gratitude to those who voted for it, saying “it inspires confidence that hundreds of thousands of our concerned citizens not only saw the existential threats facing the people of Armenia, but also endorsed the solutions proposed by the Armenia Alliance.”
Calling the Sunday election results “highly controversial,” the Alliance said it had serious ground to consider the elections “illegitimate,” adding that the results were not a true reflection of balance of forces in the country.
“Our observations and information from the alliance’s election headquarters demonstrate that the violations began long before election day. The preliminary warnings from our proxies at several polling stations on the day of the actual election proves that there was systemic and pre-planned falsification of the election results,” said the Armenia Alliance in its statement.
The alliance cited six aspects that contributed to its decision to challenge the results. They are as follows:
- A non-competitive electoral environment was created; administrative resources were used extensively by the current government, and apparent acts of electoral intimidation took place.
- Power outages occurred in many polling stations as soon as ballot counting started, with entire communities in different regions impacted including in the Armavir, Lori, Shirak, Aragatsotn provinces.
- The presence and voting by a large number of non-residents in regions was registered in many polling stations, which provide grounds to conclude that there was a system in place for falsification by mobile groups.
- It is an irrefutable reality that the armed forces were overtly directed to vote for the incumbent government.
- There is a deep suspicion that election was rigged, which from the onset prevents objective results.
- In some communities there were warnings about cases of veiled electoral bribery by the government.
“The Hayastan Alliance will use all the avenues to challenge the election results, including appealing to the Constitutional Court. The bloc has launched political consultations with other participating forces to discuss the possibility of jointly applying to the Constitutional Court,” the Armenian Alliance said in its statement.