Armenia is preparing for early parliamentary elections to be held tomorrow, after a political crisis swept the country over the results of the war with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Twenty-five political forces are participating in these elections, and Armenians count on them a lot as a step towards getting the country out of the political, economic and psychological crisis that followed the loss of sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenian President Armen Sargsyan urged citizens – amid rising tensions – to cast their votes calmly, when polling stations open on Sunday.
Today, Saturday, the president said that after a bitter election campaign full of threats, it is unacceptable to cross “political and moral boundaries” to the point of escalating the situation and fueling hatred and hostility.
Many Armenians blame Pashinyan, who came to power in 2018 after the Velvet Revolution, for the loss of land.
Pashinyan has called for early elections under pressure from the opposition, and his most likely opponent is the former president, who was twice elected Robert Kocharian, and the first results of the elections are expected late tomorrow evening.
Earlier, about 20,000 people gathered, yesterday, Friday, in the main square in Yerevan in support of the main opposition candidate, Robert Kocharian, on the last day of the campaign for the early legislative elections, according to journalists in the French Press Agency.
On Thursday, a parallel number of supporters of the outgoing prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, who threatened to erupt in riots, gathered in the same place if his opponents won.
The vote will indirectly decide the future of the November 9, 2020 ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan, which was brokered by Russia.
It is noteworthy that last year, Azerbaijan took control of large parts of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has been disputed by the two countries for decades. More than 6,500 people were killed in the renewed violence.