Armenia's opposition party to challenge snap election results

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – Armenia's former president and head of the Armenian Alliance on Tuesday announced that the party will challenge the June 20 snap election results in the country's Constitutional Court, citing "mass violations."

Robert Kocharyan said in a news conference in the capital Yerevan that the election results were "unexpected", noting that the public opinion polls were showing a "different picture."

"We must try to find an explanation. We assume that there have been mass violations, and we have obviously seen the use of administrative resources. We will apply to the Constitutional Court to challenge the results," he said.

"We have a lot of experience in taking the struggle to the street and I think that combining it with parliamentary work will only strengthen our capabilities. Our struggle will become much stronger," Kocharyan added.

According to preliminary results announced by the Central Electoral Commission on Monday, the Civil Contract Party of Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan won the early parliamentary polls with 53.92% of the votes, while Kocharian’s party came second with 21.1% of the votes.

Twenty-six political movements competed in the election for the office vacated after Pashinyan resigned from the premiership on April 25.

A total of 22 political parties and four alliances participated in the election to receive votes from over 2.59 million people.

In June 2020, 64-year-old Kocharyan was released from jail by the Criminal Court of Appeals on a bail of 2 billion Armenian drams ($4.16 million).

Kocharyan along with three former officials was on trial for overthrowing the constitutional order and bribery was also accused of orchestrating post-election clashes between police and protesters on March 1, 2008, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people.

He was arrested in 2018 but released months later. He was taken into custody again in 2019.

The second President of Armenia, Kocharyan was elected on March 30, 1998, and re-elected March 5, 2003. He served for a decade until 2008.