By Nane Sahakian and Karine Simonian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s party was defeated in Armenia’s third largest city of Vanadzor and several other major urban communities in local elections held on Sunday, December 6.
The Civil Contract party suffered similar setbacks in other parts of the country in October and November. It failed to install its members as mayors of the second largest city of Gyumri and the three main communities of southeastern Syunik province.
The latest polls were held in 36 other communities that were mostly enlarged by the Armenian authorities earlier this year. Voters there elected, on a party-list basis, new local councils empowered to choose community heads.
Citing preliminary vote results, Civil Contract claimed on Sunday night to have prevailed in 25 of those communities.
Opposition representatives disputed that claim on Monday. Some of them insisted that the ruling party won outright only in 15 municipalities, most of which comprise a city or town and multiple villages. They said that in all other communities Civil Contract fell short of a majority of seats in the local councils.