His movement, which began with democratic reform promises, got 70 percent of the votes in the parliamentary election on Sunday, according to the election commission from Monday morning. Paschinjan is seen by many Armenians as a hope, wants to boost the economy and fight against corruption. Experts warn against new protests, should he not implement his promised reforms.
On Monday Paschinjan wrote to his voters on Monday morning: „I love you all, I’m proud of you all, I bow to you all.“ During the night, according to Armenian media reports, he said he did not believe that the first stage of the revolution was over. „The revolution will not end unless we achieve all the goals of the revolution.“ With a clear victory of the extremely popular in the population Prime Minister and his movement „My step“ had been expected.
Around 2.5 million people were called to the early election. According to the electoral commission, voter turnout was just under 49 percent – comparatively low given the euphoria in the country. Experts cited as a reason for the unfavorable election date in December.
The former journalist Pashinjan had led the week-long street protests against corruption and nepotism in Armenia in the spring. As the head of the protests, he became known far beyond the ex-Soviet republic and forced the then head of government Sersch Sargsjan to resign. As a result of the so-called Velvet Revolution, he rose in May to the interim head of government. In mid-October, he submitted his resignation, paving the way for the new election, which he hoped would give him more power in parliament.
So far, the opposition Republican had the majority in Parliament, which saw Paschinjan thwarted. After the election, the 43-year-old mocked the Republicans, who did not even collect enough votes for a single mandate. According to the electoral commission, the former ruling party failed at the five-percent hurdle and missed with 4.7 percent the re-entry into the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the opposition accused the prime minister of filing a dirty election campaign and voting unfairly. Armen Aschotjan of the Republicans told the German Press Agency that his party had been harassed. In addition, Paschinjans victory had previously been determined because his party has held the election „in a post-revolutionary euphoria“.
The Republicans wanted the election date to spring and hoped, according to observers, to be able to use the time for a change of mood. But he did not hint at months after the protests ended.
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.