The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) gained a smashing victory during May 6 elections, garnering 663 066votes (44,05 %) according to the preliminary data provided by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Armenia. Though the elections were conducted under the slogan “All against RPA and its appendage “Orinats Yerkir”, the ruling party gained success through competent use of the administrative resources.
RPA significantly advanced its positions compared with elections in 2007 (33,8% votes), claiming a serious bid for the party leader President Serzh Sargsyan’s victory during the presidential elections in 2013.
RPA’s victory in majority constituencies is yet more impressive. This year the party’s candidates gained 28 seats against the 23 during the parliamentary race in 2007.
Moreover, RPA, dissatisfied with its victory only, was able to pull its loyal junior partner Orinats Yerkir to future parliament, too. The latter garnered 82 690 votes (5,49 %), which is a step back compared with the 2007 results (7,04%).
However, given the experts’ forecasts on Orinats Yerkir, deeming the party as “political corpse”, which had concluded its death sentence back in 2008, this year, its entry to the parliament may be assessed as one of the greatest surprises of the past elections.
One of the Armenian oldest parties ARF Dashnaktsutyun also made a step back compared with elections in 2007, garnering 86 296 votes (5,73 %) against the 13,1% in 2007.
ARF Dashnaktsutyun was outrun by another opposition party Heritage, the electoral list of which comprised representatives of Free Democrats party and public sectors. They all gained 87 095 votes (5,79 %) together against almost the 6% in 2007. However, it is noteworthy that the party came fourth this year, making a serous bid for opposition leadership.
The past elections can be characterized as mere downfall for ANC. The opposition leader which intended to initiate snap presidential elections through victory in the parliamentary race was hardly able to reach the 7% threshold (106 910 votes - 7,1%).
ANC’s decline in popularity following he launch of the political dialogue with the authorities in spring of 2011, made its logical conclusion on May 6.
The bloc’s attempts to confront the interests of the ruling coalition and set up cooperation with its old rivals Prosperous Armenia and ARF Dashnaktsutyun also played a crucial role in determining ANC’s failure.
Meanwhile, Prosperous Armenia coalition party benefited from the ANC’s setback. It managed to act as opposition, using its powerful administrative resources through attracting significant part of the opposition’s electorate. As a result, it garnered 454 684 votes (30,20 %) by proportional system against the 15,1% of 2007.
Though Prosperous Armenia doubled its votes this year, it also showed dissatisfaction with the election outcomes, confident in its ability to have garnered significantly more votes in case of fair elections.
The party is currently in two minds between continuing games in opposition and again backing RPA in future coalition. The harsh criticism of the authorities by Prosperous Armenia’s several high level officials, namely former Foreign Minster of Armenia Vartan Oskanian may hinder implementation of the second option.
As for the last three participants of the parliamentary race, Communist Party of Armenia garnered 15 933 votes (1,06 %), Democratic Party of Armenia (DPA) - 5 633 votes (0,37 %),United Armenians party - 3 080 votes (0,20 %).