General election today
The people of Armenia go to the polls today to vote in their general election for the 131 seat National Assembly.
Some 2,484,003 eligible voters from a population of 3.3 million will vote to elect 90 deputies by proportional representation and 41 candidates in constituencies. There are 139 candidates standing in the 41 constituencies.
Polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time and they will have the choice of voting for one of eight parties or one political bloc. The main parties are the party of President Serzh Sarksyan, the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) led by businessman Gagik Tsarukyan. The one bloc is the Armenian National Congress (HAK) which is led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan and is a coalition of 13 opposition parties.
Political parties have to reach 5% of the vote to win seats and the bloc will need to cross the 7% threshold to win seats.
Opinion polls are have been notoriously inaccurate in Armenia with a number of partisan polls skewing the field. However, the most reliable suggest that the Republican Party of Armenia is slightly ahead of Prosperous Armenia.
In 2007 the Republican Party of Armenia won 64 seats with 33.91% of the vote. In this election two polls are suggesting that they are anywhere between 27.4% and 40.6%.
In 2007 Prosperous Armenia took 18 seats on 15.13% of the vote and this time have a range of 20.9% to 32.6%, suggesting that they are polling much higher than in 2007.
Results are expected within 24 hours of the polls closing.