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Local self-government elections to be held in Armenia

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Local self-government elections to be held in Armenia

Photo: OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

The first municipal elections organized under a new local voting format will be held today in Armenia.

Before June 2020, Armenia’s multi-day local elections resulted in the direct appointment of city mayors. In contrast, today’s elections will see voters elect individual candidates, who will then form the city councils that will choose new mayors.

The electoral threshold has also been reduced to 4% for political parties and 6% for coalitions, from 6% and 8%, respectively. Since today’s elections were originally scheduled to take place at an earlier date, two more election days are scheduled for November 14 and December 5.

In the medium- to long-term, expect the change in the electoral threshold to boost party and national minority pluralities. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, however, has been appointing acting mayors—who are also running in the election—as the current municipal election dates surpass the five-year term limits of incumbent mayors. As such, expect the acting mayors to have access to greater administrative resources than their opponents. With Pashinyan maintaining popularity in rural areas, expect the acting Pashinyan-appointed mayors to receive much of the rural vote, thus consolidating the administration’s political influence at various municipalities across the country.

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