Hovannisian Campaign Alleges Election Fraud

Voters take part in Monday's election

YEREVAN–As Armenia’s Central Election Commission issued preliminary results from Monday’s presidential elections placing President Serzh Sarkisian in the lead with 59.9 percent of the votes, second place rival Raffi Hovannisian, who garnered 36 percent of the vote based on initial results, seemed poised to challenge the outcome of the elections.

Opposition candidate Raffi Hovannisian casts his ballot

At a press conference late Monday night, Hovannisian, the chairman of the Heritage party, and his campaign team alleged wide-spread voter fraud. Comments made to reporters by Hovannisian could be construed as a declaration of victory.

“The Armenian people have won … and I am grateful for the people’s victory,” said Hovannisian at the news conference.

“For the first time in 20 years the citizens have said yes to our constitution, to the rule of law, to democracy and our future,” added Hovannisian, who went on to say that while Sarkisian will always hold an important place in history for his contributions in the Karabakh liberations struggle and his role in nation building the time had come for the realization that the people had won.

“This is not about Raffi and Serzh. This is not about Heritage or the [ruling] Republican Party. It’s about the future of the Republic of Armenia,” said Hovannisian.

“I had the honor in 1992 of raising the Armenian flag at the United Nations,” continued Hovannisian. “That was a great honor for me. But it is a greater honor to accept the mandate of the Armenian people in its first public expression of confidence in its own authority and future so that we may together, in the next five years, put Armenia on the map once again of world civilization, democratic statecraft, rule of law and pursuing the national interests.”

Hovannisian’s campaign spokesman, Hovsep Khurshudian, challenged the credibility of the first CEC figures, saying that the opposition candidate won in dozens of constituencies across the country, reported RFE/RL. “We have results from 42 precincts which strangely do not coincide with the CEC’s preliminary data from 21 or 22 precincts,” Khurshudian told journalists. Hovannisian got as much as 68 percent of the vote in those areas, he said.

Media reports likewise listed scores of precincts in Yerevan as well as central and northern Armenia where official results showed Hovannisian defeating the incumbent president, according to RFE/RL.

Khurshudian accused the Armenian authorities of pressuring election officials not to publicize vote protocols certifying the opposition victory. He also alleged fraudulent ballot counting in some precincts, said RFE/RL.

Early CEC results put former prime minister Hrant Bagratian in third place with 2.2 percent of the votes. The remaining four candidates Paruir Hayrikian,  Andrias Ghukasyan, Vardan Sedrakyan and Armen Melikyan each received less than two percent of the votes, according to the preliminary results.

The CEC also announced that 60 percent of eligible voters took part in Monday’s election.

The election was being monitored by 6,251 members of local NGOs and 632 observers from 12 international organizations, including OSCE/ODIHR., CIS Mission, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the International Center for Electoral Systems (ICES) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).


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  1. Shant Melkonian said:

    Embarrassing. Too bad… But then again, it is expected & far from shocking! Deep inside, Mr. Sarkissian can’t be proud or feel that justice was served.

  2. Kevork Parseghian said:

    ur a artarutiune mer yergrum bedk a baykarenk minchev hasnenk hye azki haghtanagi gerdmane.Raffi Hovhannisiane endervads nakhakahn a sirvads mer azki zavage.

  3. Tsayt said:

    That voter fraud may have happened there’s no doubt. However, how would Raffi Hovannisian know that he actually won, where does he get his numbers?

    Havannisian has also claimed that this election was the worse voter-fraud election. I hope he is right and that he can prove it, otherwise he will discredit himself and look like someone who proclaims to win the presidency…without concrete proof.

    • Areg said:

      Do you really need a proof to beleive that the government In place was not elected neither in 2008 nor now ? If yes all you need to do is to get a ticket to Yerevan then take a walk in the countryside just to understand how the country is rulled. Things will get clearer to you.
      Yesterday you could allso watch live online the counting of votes in some places. I watched one in Vanadzor. It was 550+ for Raffi agains 230+ For Serge.

  4. Charter_Communication=Criminals said:

    A slight disclaimer before I begin to make a few points and observations. My opinions are not an attempt to be “political” nor is it an attempt to “politicize” the Armenian elections. The solution is not found in who Armenian nationals elect, but who Armenian nationals are as a people. Meaning, the solution is not a easy choice between pro-western or pro-eastern candidates, but rather the solution involves massive collusion (not unity). Unity is a “positive” word, but it is not constructive. What is “unity”? Armenians must collude and not be “unified”. Armenians are social-politically and economically divided. It is a reality. No matter how much you wish for “unity”, “unity” is an illusion. It does not exists. We must emphasize a politics of collusion. Ceteres paribus (all else equal) unity would be an option, but at this juncture no solution presents itself besides collusion. How much more drastically different is one political party in opinion and philosophy at this point in time?

  5. Satenik said:

    Mr. Hovannisian should lose with dignity. If he makes more noise about the election being unfair then it really will prove that the whole thing is about “Raffi”. Now everyone should work together for a better Armenia and stop bickering for once!

      • anon said:

        Unfair? Maybe. Would he have won if they were 100% fair? Unfortunately that is not very likely.

    • Avery said:

      Of course the elections were fair. Several unbiased 3rd party organizations who were monitoring the 2013 Presidential election weeks before Feb 18 said so.

      The Policy Forum Armenia is a US based NGO with no publicly known sources of funding.
      (they claim they are member supported: right).

      that supposedly well documented report is their own conjecture. a hatchet job.
      OCSE was there during 2008, and they said although there were some minor violations, the vote was open and fair.

      Wells said Satenik: sore losers, stop bickering and work together for a stronger, better Armenia.
      Worry about the real enemies of Armenia who reside in Baku and Ankara.

  6. Hovannes said:

    Please stop fighting againts Armenia,we need to preserve peaceful and safe life for our brother and sister of Armenia, and Serg Sarkzian is a garanty for that,Raffi is good for Palestine.

  7. Zareh said:

    I think Asbarez should finally have a headline that reads, President Sarkissian elected for second term, irrespective of whether they agree with his policies or not.
    President Sarkissian won with the majority of the votes. There are no perfect elections, not even here in the United States. Compared to past elections the most recent election was a great success. When will the opposition realize that the more they present our country to the world in its negative aspects the less investments will arrive to the homeland and the more people will be forced to leave the homeland because of lack of jobs.
    The election is over. Now is time to come together and build the homeland.

  8. Robert said:

    Both the OSCE monitors (with whom Hovhannisian met) and other independent observers have ruled the election results as legitimate. And as somebody who personally voted and witnessed the genral atmosphere, I agree with them. It may have been close enough for Raffi to suspect foul play, but if his antics result in civil unrest he should be held criminally responsible for any cnsequences. Azeris are already foaming at their mouths for the prospect of a demoralised and divided Armenian public.