Armenia’s Parliamentary Election: Another Step on the Path Toward Democracy

Publication Date: 
7 May 2012

On Sunday, May 6, Armenia held its first parliamentary election under a new election law since the 2008 presidential poll that saw violent protests. Anthony Bowyer, IFES program manager for the Caucasus and Central Asia, answers questions from southern Armenia.

According to a recent Gallup poll, more Armenians believed the election would be free and fair. How was the mood on Election Day?

The mood on Election Day in Armenia was hopeful but realistic.

Two of the three ruling troika of political parties, the Republican Party and Prosperous Armenia, look set to claim a majority of seats in the National Assembly. It is still possible the Armenian National Congress will surmount the 7 percent party bloc threshold and gain seats in the parliament.

The OSCE observed the election. What other observer groups were present?

The European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly sent observer delegations.

How did the Russian election and the protests ahead of them affect Armenia?

There seems to have been little direct impact, though Armenian voters knew very well about the election protests that took place in Russia and the role played by private citizens in challenging the ruling establishment.

When can we expect results?

Preliminary results are expected within 24 hours of the polls closing, with final results due no later than May 13.

What does this election say about Armenia's democratic progress?

While progress has been made regarding transparency and election administration, further work needs to be done to consolidate these gains as well as assist in the areas of voter registration and election dispute resolution.