The Armenian polls that saw President Serzh Sarkisian win re-election were free of any serious violations, the central elections commission said Monday as it released the poll’s final results. Serzh Sarkisian scored crushing victory in last week’s presidential elections seen as a crucial test for the ex-Soviet state. “In the course of the electoral campaign and the vote, there were no violations that could have affected the elections’ result,” said the head of the Central Elections Commission, Tigran Mukuchyan. “Serzh Azatovich Sarkisian has been elected President of the Republic of Armenia,” he announced.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Armenia.
About 5,000 flag-waving protesters rallied on Wednesday against Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan’s re-election, saying his victory was tainted by fraud.
Supporters of Sarksyan’s second-placed rival Raffi Hovannisian filled Freedom Square in the centre of the capital Yerevan to condemn what they said were uncounted ballots and other violations. ”Are you ready to stay here long?” Hovannisian asked the crowd. “Are you ready to stay here until victory? I’m ready. The constitution should win over fraud,” he said, raising a first above his head after kneeling to kiss the national flag.
President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia easily won re-election to a second five-year term, according to preliminary returns released on Tuesday by the Central Election Commission. The preliminary results showed Mr. Sargsyan with about 59 percent of the vote, enough to win the presidency outright and avoid a runoff. The former foreign minister, Raffi Hovanessian, was a distant second with about 37 percent, the returns showed. Armenians went to the polls on Monday with Mr. Sargsyan heavily favored to win and maintain stability in a country that has become an increasingly important, if uneasy, United States ally in monitoring Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Armenians have begun voting in presidential elections already marred by the shooting of an opposition candidate and the lack of any prominent alternative to incumbent Serzh Sarksyan. The government is hoping for a peaceful election that will improve the country’s prospects of European integration, after the disputed presidential elections that brought Sarksyan to power in 2008 ended in clashes in which 10 people died. Sarksyan has called for the elections to be “exemplary” and stressed that Armenia has “no future” if its polls cannot correspond to European standards. Most opinion polls give Sarksyan a strong lead and the fractured opposition forces have failed to find a common challenger to the incumbent leader. … International observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe will monitor voting, which was scheduled to end at 1600 GMT.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is poised for victory in elections next week after rivals withdrew from a campaign that’s been dominated by one candidate’s attempted assassination and another’s hunger strike. Sargsyan, 59, has 69 percent support before the Feb. 18 vote, compared with 11 percent for his nearest challenger, Raffi Hovhannisyan, a former foreign minister, according to a Gallup poll published Feb. 9. Paruyr Hayrikyan, a former dissident who was shot and wounded in a Jan. 31 incident, has 5 percent backing, while Andrias Ghukasyan, who hasn’t eaten in 26 days and calls the ballot “fake,” has 1 percent, the survey showed.
A new type of ink will be used in the February 18 presidential election, as announced Tuesday by the Central Election Commission — one that is hoped to perform better than the type that was used in last May’s parliamentary elections that resulted in charges of fraud, as the ink evaporated long before its intended duration. The ink, applied into passports of participating voters, is meant to prevent repeated voting. While it is hoped that the new ink will fulfill its aim, at least one member of the ICES monitoring mission has urged Armenia to abandon the practice in favor of more modern methodology.
An Armenian presidential candidate who was shot last month cancelled an application to postpone next week’s election, a Constitutional Court spokesman said on Monday, paving the way for the vote to be held as scheduled. Paruyr Hayrikyan, an outsider in the race which is widely expected to see current President Serzh Sarksyan win a new five-year term, was shot in the shoulder on January 31 near his home in the capital Yerevan. Hayrikyan, who had initially said he would not delay the vote, asked the Constitutional Court for a two-week postponement of the February 18 poll, raising concerns over instability in the former Soviet republic of 3.2 million.
An Armenian presidential candidate who was shot has appealed for this month’s election to be delayed to allow him more time to campaign, raising concerns over instability in the former Soviet republic. Paruyr Hayrikyan, who was shown on television looking pale and bedridden with his arm in a cast, had initially said he would not seek a postponement. He changed his mind just few hours before a deadline to apply to the Constitutional Court to delay the February 18 vote after doctors advised him to remain in hospital. “We’ve applied the Constitutional Court with a request to postpone the election for two weeks due to Paruyr Hayrikyan’s health problems and the fact that he can’t campaign,” Vrezh Zatikyan, the candidate’s aide, told Reuters.
With less than ten days to go before Armenia’s February 18 presidential vote, Armenians still do not know for sure when, exactly, the election will take place. The reason is presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian, the victim of a January 31 shooting attack. By law, Hayrikian can ask the Constitutional Court to postpone the vote for two weeks to give him time to recover his health; a request he had previously indicated he would make. But on Tuesday, he decided against such a move. Then, late on Thursday, he changed his mind again. At last word, Hayrikian intended to file the request on February 8, but a spokesperson for the Constitutional Court told EurasiaNet.org late in the day that it still had not heard from him. The Court will remain open over the weekend in case Hayrikian stands by his latest decision and requests a delay in the elections.
Armenia: Wounded presidential candidate has health setback, still mulling election delay | ArmeniaNow.com
An opposition presidential candidate recovering after suffering a gunshot wound in what was apparently an attempted assassination last week says he has been on painkillers since yesterday after his health condition deteriorated – a factor that potentially puts the February 18 election at risk again. Paruyr Hayrikyan, a Soviet-era dissident who currently heads a moderate opposition party, National Self-Determination Union, was hospitalized shortly after being attacked by a yet unidentified gunman on January 31. He subsequently refused to use the opportunity granted by the Armenian Constitution to ask the highest court for a two-week postponement of the ballot due to an “insurmountable obstacle” to his campaign, saying that while it would be a legitimate demand, he did not want to undermine the democratic electoral process.