top of page

Mayoral Election Campaign Kicks Off In Yerevan

Mayoral Election Campaign Kicks Off In Yerevan

The electoral campaign for the mayoral elections in Yerevan has commenced, with thirteen parties and one bloc vying for the 65 seats in the municipal assembly. The elections are set for September 17 and will determine the new mayor of the Armenian capital. However, the main opposition groups, including the Hayastan and Pativ Unem alliances, have decided to boycott the elections due to the serious security challenges faced by Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Former Hayastan parliamentarian Andranik Tevanian, who disagreed with the opposition's decision to boycott, has formed an electoral bloc called Mayr Hayastan (Mother Armenia) to run for mayor. Tevanian believes that an opposition victory in Yerevan could lead to regime change in the country. The Aprelu Yerkir party, associated with Ruben Vardanyan, a philanthropist who relocated to Artsakh, is another major opposition contender. Its mayoral candidate, Mane Tandilian, too has described the Yerevan polls as an opportunity to precipitate the Pashinyan government’s ouster.

Tandilian ruled out any post-election power-sharing deals with Pashinyan’s party as she spoke during her party’s inaugural campaign event. “Our struggle is about strengthening our statehood,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

Tandilian, 50, served as labor and social affairs minister in Pashinyan’s first cabinet in 2018.

Civil Contract, the ruling party, is also facing a challenge from Hayk Marutian, a popular TV comedian who was previously appointed as mayor after winning the 2018 municipal polls. Marutian was ousted by the ruling party in 2021 after disagreements with the Prime Minister. He is now among the candidates nominated by the little-known party National Progress.

Amidst the campaign, allegations have surfaced regarding the misuse of administrative resources to promote mayoral candidates. The Independent Observer coalition, responsible for monitoring the upcoming elections, accused Tigran Avinian, currently serving as a deputy mayor, of abusing his administrative position to further his mayoral bid. The coalition also reported the preparation of lists of Yerevan-based voters by the administration of a local community, an allegation that has been denied by the ruling party.

The electoral campaign is expected to be closely monitored, with tensions and controversies shaping the race for Yerevan's mayoral position.


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page