Armenia begins electronic early voting for its parliamentary elections today.
Electronic voting continues through June 13, with regular voting occurring on June 20. Election results will be published the same day. Candidates began campaigning on June 7 following Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s announcement of the early election in March in attempt to defuse the country’s political crisis.
Armenia has been in crisis since their defeat to Azerbaijan in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Likewise, the subsequent ceasefire and recent border commission have only increased criticism of Pashinyan’s handling of the conflict. The opposition has called for him to step down, and polls show public support for Pashinyan’s government have fallen drastically.
Short-term, there is an even chance of either side winning this election. Pashinyan’s government, though unpopular, benefits from recent changes which have turned the country’s electoral system into fully proportional, party-list system. Should Pashinyan remain in power, Yerevan will likely maintain their conciliatory attitude towards Azerbaijan in the medium-term to prevent further territorial losses. If the opposition wins, expect a hard line against Baku and closer relations with Russia medium- to long-term. This would see increased investments in Russian energy and more Russian military bases in Armenian territory.
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Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.