The Election is over and the results are in. The Republicans did slightly worse than the exit poll implied. Prosperous Armenia did a tiny bit better, but the big “victor” is the opposition coalition Armenian National Council who just squeaked past the 7% vote requirement to get seats in the parliament. While it’s theoretically possible that Prosperous could form a coalition with enough of the smaller parties to form a majority, realistically, that’ll never happen. There’s very little doubt that whatever coalition is formed will be based around the Republican Party. The real question is whether the smaller parties will be able to temper the power of the Republicans or whether the Republicans can sideline them.
More importantly, in a sense, the Election happened with only minor procedural problems. There were still some irregularities with the Ombudsman receiving 151 calls 8 hours into the voting. But, in the words of my supervisor, this election needs to be evaluated relative to the previous elections. In that case, this election was a success. When I told this to my friend, she responded with “great success as in nobody died. Government succeeded in not killing anyone, great job.”
Edit: Another interesting note is that in Gallup’s exit poll of 22,410 people, 10,387 wouldn’t respond. When asked “Which party or alliance of parties did you vote for?” 46% refused to respond. I can’t find any stats for American exit poll refusal rate, but I doubt it’s this high. With the massive electoral issues that have occurred in the past in Armenia, it’s understandable that voters would be distrustful of any polling agency, especially one hired by the government. Also, considering the conservative Republicans did slightly worse in the election than the exit poll dictates, I wonder if a reverse “Shy Conservative factor” occurred (The Shy Conservative factor is where conservatives are less likely to respond to exit polls because of their view that the pollsters are not neutral. Here, the prevailing view could be that the pollster’s were in league with the conservative government and more liberal voters were less willing to respond accurately.).
Read on to Election Aftermath Watch: Intermission.