ARMENIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Azgayin Joghov

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1999

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Chamber:
  Azgayin Joghov


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  30 May 1999


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new Parliament provided for in the 1995 Constitution. Elections had previously been held the same year, in July.


Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections for the former 190-member Parliament previously took place in 1995. That same year, a new Constitution providing for a reduced, 131-member legislature with a four-year term of office was promulgated.

The electoral campaign began on 26 April 1999, one day after the Central Electoral Commission had formally registered 21 contesting parties and blocs, as well as independents. There were altogether 627 candidates for the 75 seats in single-member constituencies and 1002 for the 56 proportional representation seats. The main contending parties/alliances were the National Democratic Union (AZhM), the Miasnutiun (Unity) bloc comprising the People's Party (HZhK) and the Republican Movement (NHK), the Communist Party (HKK), the Dashnaktsutiun party and the centrist Armenian National Movement of former President Levon Ter-Petrossian. The Republican Bloc which had won the majority of seats in the 1995 poll had split into factions in 1997/1998.

Campaign debate was relatively low key and focused largely on domestic socio-economic problems (unemployment, widespread poverty, etc.) and corruption rather than foreign policy and the continuing conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had broken away from Azerbaijan in the late 1980s and unilaterally declared its independence and intention to unite with Armenia. Polling day was monitored by some 200 foreign observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and smaller delegations from other organizations, as well as thousands of domestic observers from various social organizations. The international observers found a number of irregularities in the procedure followed (mainly incomplete or inaccurate voters' lists) and voiced some "serious concerns" but concluded that, on the whole, the vote rose above the fraud which had marred previous nationwide polls. Final results gave the most seats to the leftist Unity alliance co-led by the popular ex-Soviet Communist chief Karen Demirchian (HZhk) and Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian (NHK), which had pledged to raise living standards through increased social benefits and employment. The victors were followed by the orthodox HKK headed by Mr. Sergei Badalian and the nationalist Dashnaktsutiun.

On 11 June, President of the Republic Robert Kocharian appointed Mr. Sarkisian as Prime Minister and the composition of the reshuffled Cabinet was announced shortly thereafter.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (30 May 1999): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2 198 544
Voters 1 137 133 (52 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 55 887
Valid votes 1 081 246

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Unity (Miasnutiun) 448 133 41.45
Communist Party (HKK) 130 161 12.04
Right and Unity Bloc 85 736 7.93
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) 84 232 7.79
Country of Law 56 807 5.25
National Democratic Union 55 620 5.14
Others and independents 220 557 20.40

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Unity (Miasnutiun) 62
Communist Party (HKK) 10
Right and Unity Bloc 7
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) 8
Country of Law 6
National Democratic Union 6
Others and independents 32

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 127
Women: 4
Percent of women: 3.05


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Copyright 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union