The vast majority of the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s (ANC Australia) endorsed candidates won their seats in the Federal Parliament in Saturday’s Election, despite the fact that the overall result of the poll remains unclear.
Headlining the list of victors for Armenian-Australians is Tim Wilson (LIB), who won the seat of Goldstein in Victoria to ensure he becomes the second-ever Federal Parliamentarian of Armenian descent, after Joe Hockey (now retired from Federal politics).
The other Armenian-Australian contesting the poll was former ANC Australia National Board member, Hovig Melkonian (ALP), who unfortunately lost his seat of Casey, despite outstandingly clawing back the margin against his challenger, the incumbent Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith (LIB).
The most Armenian-populated seat in Australia, Bennelong in NSW, was won for a third time by John Alexander (LIB), who is the incumbent Chair of the Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, and an outspoken advocate on Armenian Genocide recognition and the rights to self-determination for the Armenians of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
The most Armenian-populated seat in Victoria, Bruce was won by Julian Hill (ALP), who has promised to advocate for Armenian-Australian issues of concern in the next Parliamentary term.
In the Senate, where results are also not yet clear, it seems likely that there will be stronger representation for the Nick Xenophon Team, whose leader Nick Xenophon is a strong advocate for Armenian Genocide recognition. The Greens will also likely end up with at least nine Senators and Rev. Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party (CDP) is projected to win one seat. The Greens and the CDP are both on the record to ANC Australia as supporters of Armenian Genocide recognition.
Generally speaking, the Liberal/National Coalition (LIB) and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) are in a neck-and-neck race to try and gain a majority of seats in the House of Representatives. As absentee votes and postal votes are still being counted, either party needs to reach the number of 76 in order to officially be in government – either on their own accord, or via negotiations with the cross-benches.
The result should be clearer by the end of this week.
Prior to the election, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) met with candidates in key seats for Armenian-Australians, and produced a report card reviewing the key candidates.