The Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on Monday insisted that it has received a popular mandate to continue governing the country for five more years and faulted its rivals for not rushing to recognize its electoral triumph.
HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said the party headed by President Serzh Sarkisian swept to a landslide victory in a free and fair vote. “The fact is that these elections were unprecedented in Armenia’s modern history,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And as our colleagues from Reuters pointed out, these elections are poised to mark a milestone for Armenia.”
Sharmazanov claimed that that Western monitors also consider Sunday’s elections democratic because they reported violations only in 10 percent of polling stations visited by them. “That means things were well, flawless in 90 percent of [polling stations,]” he said. “The 90 percent result is characteristic of democratic countries.”
Like other HHK figures, Sharmazanov also dismissed fraud allegations voiced by opposition representatives throughout the voting process. “Yesterday showed that accusations made by many political forces proved false,” he said.
Sharmazanov added that instead of alleging fraud the other major election contenders should have congratulated the Republicans in a “gentlemanly” manner. “Our opposition talks a lot about democracy but very often it does not follow democratic procedures,” he said.
The main opposition forces and the HHK’s partner in the ruling coalition, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), were in no rush to officially react to the official vote results. Hrant Markarian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) was one of the few opposition politicians to comment on them.
Markarian claimed that the election outcome was essentially decided by vote bribes handed out by the HHK. “The authorities that are responsible for the people’s poverty exploited that poverty to prolong their authority,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And I’m not talking about other violations.”
“We are discussing the issue and will make an official statement soon,” Markarian said.
There was no reaction at all from the BHK and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). An HAK spokesman said the opposition alliance will announce its position and further actions at a rally on Tuesday.