Acting Armenian PM's bloc wins parliamentary vote - commission

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The early parliamentary elections in Armenia were held with respect for fundamental freedoms and enjoyed broad public trust that needs to be preserved through further electoral reforms, the OSCE worldwide observers concluded in a preliminary statement released Monday, December 10.

Kocharyan served as president of Armenia from 1998 to 2008, when mass protests unfolded over a disputed election.

Data from the Central Election Commission, cited by Radio Free Europe, showed that Pashinyan's My Step alliance received 70.4 percent of the votes, in an election that had a turnout of 48.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Armenia's former ruling Republican Party for the first time failed to cross the 5-percent threshold to get into the country's parliament, having ensured only 4.7 percent of the vote.

The former newspaper editor marked a break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.

Under the new Constitution, Armenia is a parliamentary Republic, and the citizens hope that the National Assembly elected after the "velvet revolution", to justify their hopes.

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After a change of power in the South Caucasus country of around 3 million people, Pashinyan's government sought to initiate changes to the electoral code.

At a polling station in central Yerevan voters expressed optimism about the political change promised by Pashinyan and vented their anger at former corrupt officials. An appeals court ordered the detention of former President Robert Kocharyan on Friday on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.

"Our country is not under any influence", he said, adding that Armenia would continue its cooperation with the European Union, although had no plans to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The alliance of acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan promises to ensure further development of relations with Russian Federation based on equality and mutual respect for national interests.

Pashinyan also suggested he would stick with existing policies on the long-running issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Khojaly Massacre is regarded as one of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan for control of the now-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region between 1988 and 1994.

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