Sarkisian wins Armenian presidential elections

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia has won the presidential elections in his country, says a spokesperson for the voting committee. Sargsyan had 52.9 percent of the votes. His opponent Levon Ter-Petrosian had 21.5%, and the third candidate Arthur Baghdasarian 16.6%. Almost 70% of the registered voters showed up.

The opposing parties have complained about irregularities in the voting procedure, and called for demonstrations. Thousands of protesters responded to this call, and gathered in the capital Yerevan.

Since Sargsyan won with an absolute majority, there will not be a second voting round. The new president has promised to continue the policies of his predecessor Robert Kocharyan, and faces a simmering territorial conflict with neighbouring country Azerbaijan and frozen ties with Turkey.

"Yesterday's presidential election in Armenia was conducted mostly in line with the country's international commitments," observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement. "Further improvements are necessary to address remaining challenges".