„We have already achieved our goal. These are really free, transparent and democratic elections », said Prime Minister Nikol Paschinjan on Sunday in front of a polling station in the capital Yerevan. The main goal was to achieve democracy in the former Soviet republic. „We’ve succeeded.“ Experts warn that if the head of government fails to implement his promised reforms, protests may resume.
No one doubted Pashinjan’s victory on election day. Polls see his move „My Step“ at 70 percent. How have voted about 2.5 million voters, should be available in the night of Monday. The head of government resigned in mid-October, paving the way for the election. The 43-year-old wants to get more power in parliament. So far, Republicans have the majority in the opposition.
The popular Prime Minister and former journalist led the week-long street protests against corruption and nepotism in Armenia in the spring. He had come to power in May through the so-called Velvet Revolution. Now he promises a better Armenia, wants to boost the economy and act against corrupt structures.
„For some it looks like a Messiah,“ said Gevorg Poghosjan of the Academy of Sciences in Yerevan. „This is bad for Paschinjan, because the expectations of the new power are very high.“ Many Armenians hoped that something would change. „They’ll wait for results now – maybe six months, maybe a year,“ said Poghosjan. «After that they will ask Pazinan:« What happened to your promised changes? »»
„We give him the time,“ said the voter Diana Ghasarjan in Yerevan. „The election is the final step to complete the revolution. We fought for it for a long time. »A young man thinks:« We hope that Armenia gets better. »The 53-year-old Astzik Kochocsjan said:« Paschinjan is in my heart. »It was a matter of honor for her to vote.
„We have a new political situation in the country,“ said expert Poghosjan. There is a „really strong party“. Everyone knows that Pashinan’s movement will win the majority in parliament. Looking at the other ten parties and candidate blocs, he said, „Usually the parties are fighting for power, this time they are fighting to get into the opposition.“ For the first time there was a television debate between the candidates.
The opposition, on the other hand, accused the prime minister of filing a dirty election campaign. Armen Aschotjan from the Republicans told dpa that his party had been harassed. „Pashinjan is a populist.“ This choice was not fair in advance. „It was already clear that Paschinjans party will win because it held the election in a post-revolutionary euphoria.“ Aschotjan spoke of a hate campaign, which should prevent a Republican entry into parliament. „Governments should be able to control.“
New for Armenia was also that the election campaign took place on the Internet. More than half a million people follow Paschinjan on Facebook. Shortly before the election, he appeared live on the camera, not on television, but in the social networks. In a few minutes, the number of users grew rapidly.
Small and poor Armenia with almost three million inhabitants is located in the South Caucasus and is in a politically difficult situation. It is hostile to its neighbors Azerbaijan and Turkey and therefore relies on an alliance with Russia. Pashinjan wants to continue cooperation with both Russia and the EU.