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Major Armenian Party May Pull Out Of Elections


Artsvik Minasian

Artsvik Minasian

YEREVAN -- A major party in Armenia’s governing coalition is threatening to pull out of the upcoming municipal elections in Yerevan if it sees "blatant" corruption during the vote, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Artsvik Minasian, the mayoral candidate for the Dashnaktsutyun party, told RFE/RL that his party would not "rule out" taking such action and that "we should jointly fight against pressure, ballot stuffing, attempts to distort election results, and other violations that can significantly influence the real picture."

Eduard Sharmazanov, a spokesman for President Serzh Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), told RFE/RL that his party "has neither the need nor the ability nor desire to rig the elections."

There have been reports that Yerevan's incumbent mayor, the HHK's Gagik Beglarian, has pressured public-sector employees to vote for the HHK in the municipal assembly elections on May 31.

Independent observers were also critical of HHK actions during last year's presidential election.
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