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Armenian parliamentary election, 2012


Armenian parliamentary election, 2012

Armenian parliamentary election, 2012

May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)

All 131 to the National Assembly
66 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Serzh Sargsyan Gagik Tsarukyan Levon Ter-Petrosyan
Party Republican Party Prosperous Armenia ANC
Last election 64 seats, 48.8% 25 seats, 19.1% New party
Seats won 69 seats 37 seats 7 seats
Seat change +5 +12 +7
Percentage 52.7% 28.2% 5.3%
Swing Increase 3.9% Increase 9.1% Increase 5.3%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Artur Baghdasaryan Vahan Hovhannisyan Raffi Hovannisian
Party Rule of Law ARF Heritage
Last election 9 seats, 7.1% 16 seats, 12.2% 7 seats, 6%
Seats won 6 seats 5 seats 5 seats
Seat change -3 -11 -2
Percentage 4.6% 3.8% 3.8%
Swing Decrease 2.5% Decrease 8.4% Decrease 2.2%

Prime Minister before election

Tigran Sargsyan
Republican Party

Elected Prime Minister

Tigran Sargsyan
Republican Party

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
See also

A parliamentary election was held on May 6, 2012 in Armenia.

President Serzh Sargsyan's ruling Republican Party gained more majority of the parliament seats. Armenia's wealthiest man Gagik Tsarukyan's Prosperous Armenia came second with about one fourth of the seats, while ANC, ARF, Rule of Law and Heritage won less than 10 percent each.


  • Background 1
    • Electoral system and controversy over it 1.1
  • Parties 2
  • Constituency candidates 3
  • Campaign 4
    • Balloon explosion incident 4.1
  • Oversight 5
    • Joint headquarters of PAP, ANC and ARF 5.1
    • Local 5.2
    • International 5.3
  • Opinion polls 6
    • Exit poll 6.1
  • Results 7
  • Reactions 8
    • Parties 8.1
    • International 8.2
  • Claims of electoral irregularities 9
  • Aftermath and protests 10
  • Interesting facts 11
  • References 12


In 2011, Armenia faced unprecedented opposition protests over the disputed 2008 presidential election, amongst other issues. Since then changes welcomed by the EU have been made, who stated that "the next parliamentary and presidential elections will be an important benchmark in Armenia reform's path."[1]

Electoral system and controversy over it

Out of a total of 131 seats in the National Assembly, 90 are distributed between parties using a proportional system, while the other 41 are elected from constituencies by a majoritarian voting system. The election threshold is 5% for parties and 7% for alliances, in this case the only alliance was the Armenian National Congress.

Months before the election, there was a movement for the elimination of constituency seats and going to a full party-list proportional system. Most parties, including 3 of 5 parliamentary parties (ARF, PAP and Heritage), supported this initiative bringing up the issue of "district authorities" which were traditionally backed up by the Republican Party.[2] The opposition bloc Armenian National Congress also supported it.

On February 28, Heritage and ANC joined the ARF protests in front of the National Assembly building,[3] but on February 28, the National Assembly voted 30-54 against the proposal.[4]


A total of 9 parties have been registered to participate in the election:[5]

  1. Prosperous Armenia - Gagik Tsarukyan
  2. Heritage - Raffi Hovannisian
  3. Armenian National Congress - Levon Ter-Petrosyan
  4. Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Vahan Hovhannisyan
  5. Democratic Party of Armenia - Aram Sargsyan
  6. Armenian Communist Party - Ruben Tovmasyan
  7. Republican Party of Armenia - Serzh Sargsyan
  8. Unified Armenians Party - Ruben Avagyan
  9. Rule of Law - Artur Baghdasaryan

Constituency candidates

There a total of 41 electoral districts in Armenia, 13 in capital Yerevan and 28 in provinces each varying around 50,000 voters. 139 candidates have been registered in 41 districts to run for constituency seats. 54 were non-partisans candidates[6] and the opposition bloc Armenian National Congress has the most 38 candidates.[7]

Biggest interest was given to the 7th district which includes Malatia-Sebastia district of Yerevan, where the opposition alliance Armenian National Congress candidate Nikol Pashinyan is going to challenge RPA-backed oligarch Samvel Aleksanyan.[8] Other notable candidates are Ruben Hayrapetyan, the president of the Football Federation of Armenia in 1st district of Avan and one the wealthiest Armenian businessman Gagik Tsarukyan (PAP leader) in 28th district which includes Abovyan city and surrounding villages.

The full list of constituency candidates in Armenian is available here.

Edmon Marukyan was the only non-partisan candidate who was elected to the National Assembly.


The incident

On March 19, the Heritage party introduced its proportional list, which also included some members of the Free Democrats party as of their agreement to participate together in this election.[9][10]

The official election campaign began on April 8, but the first campaigns were on April 10, because of Easter.[11] None of the participating parties held campaign rallies on April 24, the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.[12] ARF, ANC Heritage, Republican Party, Prosperous Armenia and the Communist Party attended a memorial at Tsitsernakaberd.[13][14]

May 5, the day before the election is "Day of Silence", when most kinds of campaigning are prohibited by law.[15][16]

Balloon explosion incident

On May 4, the last official day of the campaign, during the Republican Party concert and rally in Republic Square of Yerevan, dozens of balloons filled with hydrogen blasted, resulting in injury of at least 144 people according to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.[17] Few hours later it was reported that out of total 154 people hospitalized, 98 were still in hospitals and 28 were in intensive-care units.[18]


Joint headquarters of PAP, ANC and ARF

On April 6, four parties (Prosperous Armenia, Heritage, ARF and ANC) created joint headquarters with a view to holding free and fair elections.[19] Although, Prosperous Armenia is in a coalition with RPA and RoL, they also agreed to join the opposition manifest. On April 19, Heritage withdrew from this agreement announcing that it was not formed to control the election, but rather as a pre-election campaign headquarters for the ex-president Robert Kocharyan's comeback into Armenia's political life and probable participation in the 2013 presidential election.[20]

On April 28, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (9 MPs) and Prosperous Armenia (21 MPs) appealed to the Constitutional Court to rule unconstitutional articles that prohibits the publication of the lists of voters that actually took part in the election.[21][22][23][24] Although, Heritage deputies didn't sign the appeal, party leader Raffi Hovhannisyan said that they also support that initiative.[25] Vahe Grigoryan, the lawyer that represents the appeal, said that the Constitutional Court is "going to make a choice between rationality and dictation [from the authorities]".[26] Levon Zurabyan, the ANC speaker, said that each party will have up to 5-6 representatives at each polling station. Also, the parties have agreed to create joint 'mobile' groups that will respond to all reports about election fraud by traveling to the given precinct to study and eliminate the vote rigging.[27]

The Constitutional Court heard the case on May 5, the day before the election and refused the appeal.[28][29]


31,451 observers from local non-government organizations were registered to oversight the election.[30] Largest ones are the "Panarmenian Youth Association" (Համահայկական երիտասարդական ասոցիացիա) with 5,555 observers, "The Choice is Yours" (Ընտրությունը քոնն է) with 4,000 observers, "Free Society Institute" (Ազատ հասարակության ինստիտուտ) with 2,512 observers and "Fist" (Բռունցք) with 2,136 observers. Other organizations have less than 2,000 observers.


647 international observers were registered by the Central Electoral Commission.[31] Largest missions were:

Opinion polls

Date of Polling
Other answers (DK, Und, RtA)
Hetq Online[34][35] as of May 5, 2012 10 11 2 25 11 28 9 4
European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) [36] Apr 17–22, 2012 33.3 26 3.4 3.2 4.0 2.9 2.9 24.3
Gallup International Association[37] Apr 17–23, 2012 27.4 20.9 4.2 3.7 4.4 8.5 0.7 30
VTsIOM[38] Apr 4–13, 2012 32 27 5 4 4 3 2 23
Gallup International Association[39][40] Apr 4–10, 2012 34 28 4.5 4.6 3.5 6.7 - 18.7
"My Opinion" Civil Initiative[41] Mar 27, 2012 8 39 - 13 4 26 - 10
Sociometer[42] Mar 26, 2012 40 35 5-6 6-7 5-6 8-9 - 20
European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) [43] Feb 25 – Mar 5, 2012 24.5 27.1 3.0 3.3 2.6 3.2 2.6 32.1
"500 Voices" Social Research Group[44][45] Feb 14, 2012 9 36 - 12 5 27 - 11
Research Center of Political Developments[46] Feb 6, 2012 34 21 2 3 7 13 - 20

Exit poll

The Gallup International Association held an exit poll among 22,410 people in 131 polling stations. 46.35% refused to answer, while 56.65% answered as follows: 43.3% Republican Party of Armenia, 29.3% Prosperous Armenia, 6.4% Armenian National Congress, 6.5% Heritage, 6.2% Rule of Law, 5.2% Armenian Revolutionary Federation, 2.2% Armenian Communist Party, 0.6% Democratic Party of Armenia, 0.4% Unified Armenians Party.[47][48][49]


  Summary of the 6 May 2012 Armenian National Assembly election results
Republican Party
Increase 5
Prosperous Armenia
Increase 12
Increase 7
Rule of Law
Decrease 3
Decrease 10
Decrease 2
Armenian Communist Party
Democratic Party of Armenia
Unified Armenians Party
Decrease 4
Invalid votes
Electorate and turnout:
Source: Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Armenia



  • Republican Party of Armenia - RPA speaker Eduard Sharmazanov announced that this election was the best one held in Armenia in the 21st century. Later, he added that the society is "satisfied with its results".[50][51]
  • Heritage - On May 8, the party announced that they do not recognize the legitimacy of the election and that mass violations dramatically changed the results.[57]
  • Rule of Law - RoL leader, Artur Baghdasaryan stated that this election was the first time done without bullot stuffing and brawling. Also, the calculation of the votes was under complete control of parties.[58]


  •  European Union: Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton's statement about the election said that the EU welcomes the efforts of the Armenian authorities to hold "more transparent and competitive elections", however a number of issues kept the election away from internationally recognized democratic standards.[59]
  • OSCE: The OSCE/ODHIR recognized the election as "competitive and largely peaceful, but shortcomings undermined confidence in the process". They also said that the campaign environment generally respected freedoms of assembly and expression and candidates were, mostly, able to campaign freely. But the general lack of confidence in the integrity of the process amongst political parties and the general public is an issue of great concern.[60]
  •  United States: During her visit to Armenia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that "despite certain shortcomings, the elections were compliant with international standards".[61] Clinton also stated that she was "pleased at the reports from international monitors about Armenia’s parliamentary elections last month being generally competitive and inclusive".[62]

Claims of electoral irregularities

The joint headquarters of ANC, PAP and ARF reported about the oxidation of the ink stamped in passports of voted citizens, which were done to avoid multiple voting by same citizens.[63]

ANC, ARF and Heritage criticized the authorities for abusing the administrative resource in favor of the ruling party. Both said the elections were marred by widespread vote buying schemes and other violations that influenced the outcome of the vote.[64]

On May 11, the joint headquarters of ANC, ARF and Prosperous Armenia stated that the election "doesn't reflect the real image of the popular support of political forces".[65]

Aftermath and protests

On an interview on May 6, the election day, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, answering to a question about probable post-election protests, said that they will appeal every electoral violation "in all legal means".[66] Then he continued, that he's not sure how successful it would be, but, in former cases the opposition forces have been working separate and that this time the forces are tripled in the joint headquarters of the ANC, PAP and ARF.

On May 7, the Armenian National Congress announced that they will hold a demonstration in Freedom Square on May 8. During the last demonstration of ANC, Levon Zurabyan, the ANC speaker, said that they will meet again on May 8 and summarize the election and together with the protesters will discuss their future moves.[67]

Two days after the 2012 parliamentary election, about 5,000 supporters of ANC marched in the streets of Yerevan denouncing "fraud" and calling for the election results to be thrown out. Levon Ter-Petrosyan and other ANC leaders said President Serzh Sargsyan had rigged the election and demanded new polls. International monitors said the election was peaceful, but criticised "interference" by the ruling party, which it said violated election law in the run-up to the vote.[68]

The ANC leaders addressing thousands on Freedom Square, claimed that the vote giving the ruling RPA a majority in National Assembly does not reflect the real lineup of political forces in the country. Armenian Times editor Nikol Pashinyan stressed that the opposition bloc will not give up the seven mandates and will enter parliament and continue its daily fight to change the political situation.[69] Although, Levon Ter-Petrosyan said that who would not pick his mandate, because it's not appropriate for a former president become a MP. Later he said that bribery, repeated ballot, voter list fraud and other violations were widespread during the election. Another ANC leading member, Aram Manukyan said have evidence of violations committed by the authorities, especially of inflating voter lists, tampering with stamps and ink, pressure on voters and candidates’ proxies and others. He then added that they will appeal the outcome of the elections at the Constitutional Court.[70]

On May 18, the Armenian National Congress applied to the Constitutional Court demanding the cancellation of proportional-system election results.[71][72][73] On May 31, the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal.[74]

On June 26 second demonstration of the Armenian National Congress after the 6 May election took place at Freedom Square of Yerevan. Levon Ter-Petrosyan stated that if Prosperous Armenia wants to become a serious political force, they should not support President Sargsyan in upcoming presidential election.[75]

Interesting facts

There have been found some ballots with Chuck Norris' name written on them as a candidate.[76][77][78]


  1. ^ "Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mr Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia". European Commission. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  2. ^ (Armenian) Մեծամասնական-համամասնական վեճը
  3. ^ (Armenian) ՀՅԴ, ՀԱԿ, «Ժառանգությունը» միացան
  4. ^ (Armenian) Հարյուր տոկոսանոց համամասնական ընտրակարգի առաջարկը մերժվեց
  5. ^ Հայաստանի Հանրապետության կենտրոնական ընտրական հանձնաժողով (in Armenian). Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  6. ^ (Armenian) 41 մեծամասնական մանդատի համար կպայքարեն 139 թեկնածուներ
  7. ^ (Armenian) Պատրաստ էին միայն 38-ը. ՀԱԿ-ը ներկայացրել է մեծամասնականով թեկնածուների ցուցակները
  8. ^ Aleksanyan - $9.9 Million in Cash; Pashinyan - $49.75
  9. ^ Heritage" and "Free democrats" presented a joint list""". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Party List: Heritage and Free Democrats - Parties & Candidates". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  11. ^ "Vote 2012: Election campaign kicks off in Armenia - Vote 2012". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  12. ^ Լուրեր Հայաստանից - Հայոց Ցեղասպանությունն Ու Նախընտրական Ծրագրերը (in Armenian). 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Armenia’s President visits Tsitsernakaberd memorial - Armenian News".  
  14. ^ "Prosperous Armenia, HAK to move to Tsitsernakaberd midday - Society - Panorama | Armenian news". 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  15. ^ Vote 2012: Campaign closes, “Day of Silence”, judgment day Sunday
  16. ^ Day of Silence in Armenia before parliament elections
  17. ^ Scores Injured As Balloon Blasts Spark Chaos At Armenian Election Rally
  18. ^ (Armenian) Հոսպիտալացված 154 քաղաքացիներից 98-ը դեռևս հիվանդանոցներում են, որոնցից 28-ը՝ վերակենդանացման բաժանմունքներում. ԱԻՆ (տեսանյութ)
  19. ^ "Vote 2012: Opposition, government create dual – and dueling – monitoring staffs - Vote 2012". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  20. ^ Նաիրա Բուլղադարյան (2012-04-19). "Ժառանգությունը" միասնական շտաբի հետեւում Քոչարյանին է տեսնում (in Armenian). Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  21. ^ (Armenian) ԱԺ նախագահը ՍԴ կուղարկի ՀՅԴ-ի, ՀԱԿ-ի եւ ԲՀԿ-ի հայցադիմումը
  22. ^ ԱԺ ԲՀԿ եւ ՀՅԴ խմբակցությունների 28 պատգամավոր ստորագրել է Սահմանադրական դատարան դիմելու նախաձեռնության տակ | Ներքին կյանք (in Armenian). 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  23. ^ Armenia’s Constitutional Court to consider parties’ claim day before elections
  24. ^ "Լուրեր Հայաստանից - Միասնական Շտաբը Դիմում Է Սահմանադրական Դատարան". Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  25. ^ (Armenian) Հովհաննիսյանը հուսով է, որ ՍԴ-ն «ճշգրիտ որոշում կկայացնի»
  26. ^ (Armenian) Միասնական շտաբի անդամ ուժերի ներկայացուցիչները ուշի ուշով կհետեւեն ընտրությունների ընթացքին
  27. ^ Public oversight headquarters to count voters
  28. ^ Armenian Constitutional court refuses appeal of 28 MPs
  29. ^ (Armenian) Սահմանադրական դատարանը մերժեց ԲՀԿ-ի եւ ՀՅԴ-ի պատգամավորների հայցադիմումը
  30. ^ (Armenian) The List of Local Organizations Observing the Parliamentary Elections on May 6, 2012
  31. ^ (Armenian) The List of International Organizations Observing the Parliamentary Elections on May 6, 2012
  32. ^ International election observers in Armenia to hold press conference on Monday
  33. ^ (Russian) Штаб Миссии наблюдателей от СНГ на выборах депутатов Национального Собрания Республики Армения
  34. ^ Hetq Online
  35. ^ Saved screenshot of the poll at as 05/05/2012
  36. ^ Poll: Last Assessment of Pre-Electoral Armenia
  37. ^ (Armenian) «Gallap international association»-ը հրապարակեց 17.04-23.04 ժամանակահատվածում անցկացված սոցիոլոգիական հարցումների արդյունքները
  38. ^ Russian experts on Armenian voters’ preferences
  39. ^ 34% of Armenia’s citizens ready to vote for ruling party - Gallup Organization
  40. ^ RPA and “Prosperous Armenia” lead, Gallup poll says
  41. ^ (Armenian) Հերթական հարցման արդյունքներով (“Իմ կարծիքը”) ԲՀԿ-ն ունի 39 տոկոս, իսկ ՀՀԿ-ն` 8 տոկոս վարկանիշ
  42. ^ (Armenian) Ահարոն Ադիբեկյանը չի հավատում «Հայաստանի եվրոպացի բարեկամներ»–ի սոցհարցմանը
  43. ^ Poll: A Snapshot of Pre-Electoral Armenia
  44. ^ (Armenian) «500 Ձայն»–ի նոր ուսումնասիրությունները
  45. ^ (Armenian) Հերթական ուսումնասիրությունը
  46. ^ (Armenian) «Հայոց աշխարհ». ՀՀԿ-ն առաջատարն է ըստ հարցումների
  47. ^ (Armenian) ՀՀԿ՝ 43.3%, ԲՀԿ՝ 29,3%, Ժառանգություն՝ 6,5%. «Էքզիթ փոլլ»
  48. ^ (Armenian) ՀՀԿ՝ 43.3%, ԲՀԿ՝ 29,3%, Ժառանգություն՝ 6,5%. «Էքզիթ փոլի» վերջնական արդյունքները
  49. ^ (Armenian) Exit poll` վերջնական արդյունքներ. ՀՀԿ 43,3%, ԲՀԿ 29,3% (ՏԵՍԱՆՅՈՒԹ)
  50. ^ (Armenian) Շարմազանով. «Հայաստանի 21-րդ դարի պատմության ընթացքում այս ընտրությունները լավագույնն են»
  51. ^ Sarkisian’s Party Hails ‘Unprecedented’ Vote
  52. ^ (Armenian) Ծառուկյանը «աննախադեպ մեծ» է համարում ԲՀԿ-ին ձայն տվողների թիվը
  53. ^ (Armenian) Ինձ համար չկա ավելի թանկ բան, քան ժողովրդի վստահությունը. Գագիկ Ծառուկյանը վերահաստատում է իր ուղերձները
  54. ^ (Armenian) Լեւոն Տեր-Պետրոսյանը հրաժարվում է իր պատգամավորական մանդատից
  55. ^ (Armenian) ՀՅԴ-ն դժգոհ է ընտրությունների արդյունքներից
  56. ^ (Armenian) Ընտրությունները չարձանագրեցին ժողովրդի կամքը և քաղաքական ուժերի իրական հարաբերակցությունը. ՀՅԴ
  57. ^ (Armenian) «Ժառանգություն»-ը գոհ չէ ընտրությունների արդյունքներից
  58. ^ (Armenian) Արթուր Բաղդասարյանի հետընտրական հայտարարությունը. ՕԵԿ-ում խստացնելու են անդամագրման կարգը
  59. ^ Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the Parliamentary elections in Armenia on 6 May 2012
  60. ^ Armenian elections competitive and largely peaceful, but shortcomings undermined confidence in the process, observers say
  61. ^ Hillary Clinton: Ball is still in Turkey's court
  62. ^ Clinton Praises Armenia For Election Conduct, Turkey Policy
  63. ^ (Armenian) Տեղի է ունենում նախօրոք լավ կազմակերպված լայնածավալ մեքենայություն. Միասնական շտաբ
  64. ^ Armenian opposition bloc decries election fraud, says will pick parliament mandates
  65. ^ (Armenian) Խորհրդարանը «չի արտացոլում ժողովրդի կողմից քաղաքական ուժերի աջակցության իրական պատկերը»
  66. ^ (Armenian) Գուցե մենք անելու ենք այն, ինչպես արվել է բոլոր ընտրություններից հետո. Լևոն Տեր-Պետրոսյան
  67. ^ (Armenian) ՀԱԿ–ը Ազատության հրապարակում հանրահավաք կանցկացնի
  68. ^ Mkrtchyan, Hasmik (8 May 2012). "Armenian opposition says election marred by fraud". Reuters. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  69. ^ Armenian Opposition Set to Challenge Election Results
  70. ^ Armenian opposition bloc decries election fraud, says will pick parliament mandates
  71. ^ Armenian National Congress appeals to Constitutional Court
  72. ^ Armenian National Congress appeals to Constitutional Court over election results
  73. ^ Armenian National Congress applied to the Constitutional Court
  74. ^ (Armenian) Սահմանադրական դատարանը մերժեց ՀԱԿ-ի դիմումը
  75. ^ (Armenian) Տեր-Պետրոսյան․ ԲՀԿ-ն պետք է կարողանա դիմանալ ճնշումներին
  76. ^ Չակ Նորիսն ու "Եկածիրինն"` այլընտրանք. ընտրողները կատակում են քվեաթերթիկներով (ֆոտո) (in Հայերեն). May 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  77. ^ Խորհրդարանական ընտրությունների "հայտնությունը". ոմանք ընտրել են Չակ Նորիսին և "Եկատիրինին" (լուսանկարներ) (in Հայերեն). Թերթ.am. May 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  78. ^ "Չակ Նորիսը" որպես հայկական ընտրությունների ֆենոմեն (in Հայերեն). Mediamax. May 6, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
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