- Title: ARMENIA: Armenian President secures re-election exit polls show
- Date: 18th February 2013
- Summary: PLEASE NOTE, THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL YEREVAN, ARMENIA (FEBRUARY 18, 2013) (REUTERS) PEOPLE AT POLLING STATION LAST PERSON VOTING BALLOTS IN BOX VARIOUS OF MAN CLOSING DOOR OF POLLING STATION BOX WITH BALLOTS VARIOUS OF MAN SEALING BALLOT BOX SEALED BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PREPARING TO COUNT VOTES
- Embargoed: 5th March 2013 12:00
- Location: Armenia
- Country: Armenia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEBT2FTODXQ2WHF4DY5396Z8PQ
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan is on course to win his new term in office, exit poll results, released as soon as polls closed, show.
The exit poll released by Gallup International Association on Monday (February 18) put incumbent President Serzh Sarksyan on course to win 58 percent of the votes in an election that passed off without any of the violence that marred the last national poll in 2008 Armenia.
First exit-polls, released after last voters cast their votes and polls closed, showed that Sarksyan was winning the election.
U.S.-born Raffi Hovannisian was in second place with 32 percent of the votes, exit-poll showed.
The Central Election Commission was expected to start receiving initial results from polling stations across the country of 3.2 million by midnight (2000 GMT).
"Exit-poll showed that Serzh Sarksyan received 58 per cent votes. The second place goes to Raffi Hovhannisyan - 32 per cent of votes. The third place goes to Paruyr Hayrikyan with three per cent of votes. Hrant Bagratyan is on the forth place with three per cent," Gallup Organisation Director, Rasa Alishakuskene said, speaking on local TV soon after polls were closed.
Many voters and Armenian leaders had hoped the election would be a landmark for democracy after voting irregularities marred the last parliamentary election in 2007 and clashes killed 10 people after the presidential vote in 2008.
About 300 international observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitored voting and will give their initial verdict on Tuesday Feb. 19.
Sarksyan's supporters say an election free of the violence and fraud that tainted the last presidential election in 2008, when 10 people were killed in clashes, would show the former Soviet republic of 3.2 million people is on the road to political stability and help sustain its economic recovery after years of war and upheaval.
Officials from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said they found a lack of interest in the election and a lack of confidence about the electoral process among the public when they visited the country in January.
Sarksyan's supporters dismiss the concerns, saying the election will be a step towards greater stability and democracy two decades after the Soviet Union Collapse collapsed.
A parliamentary election last May, won by Sarksyan's Republican Party, passed off without any major violence.
If Sarksyan is elected for the second term he will have to face the challenges he could not solve during his first presidential term including frozen conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan, threatening to melt as well as economic problems facing his population.
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