Hovannisian Challenges Sarkisian on ‘Transition of Power’

Yerevan residents flock to a post-election rally organized by Raffi Hovannisian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources) – Heritage Party Presidential Candidate Raffi Hovannisian, at a press conference and rally held at Liberty Square Tuesday, called Monday’s presidential elections a “victory for the people” and urged President Serzh Sarkisian to meet with him by 5 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the peaceful transition of power.

“I am already the elected president of the Republic of Armenia,” he told supporters at the Liberty Square rally. “I want to come here tomorrow at 5 p.m. and report to you that I met with Mr. Sakisian and that he had the strength, manliness … to say that the Armenian people won and congratulate them.”

Hovannisian and campaign representatives declined to state what course of action they would take should Sarkisian refuse the meeting.

Armenia’s Central Election Commission reported that Sarkisian secured 58.6 percent of the vote to win the election with Hovannisian coming in second with 36.8 percent. Early 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 reports. According to the CEC, 60 percent of eligible voters took part in Monday’s election.

Hovannisian campaign spokesperson Hovsep Khurshudyan disputed the results, telling reporters that the results from 21 of 42 polling stations sampled had different results than those reported by the CEC. “We had 27,902 votes at the polling stations, with 19,057 votes or 68% cast for Raffi Hovannisian, and 32% for Serzh Sargsyan. We can get the results with difficulties. All the election commission chairmen were ordered not to provide information from the polling stations where Raffi Hovannisian is winning,” Khurshudyan stated.

A preliminary findings report by election observers representing the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament (EP) noted marked improvements in electoral practices, but documented a number of shortcomings. “Overall, the election was administered in a professional manner and real efforts were made by the authorities to improve the quality of the voter lists. The media covered all candidates in a rather balanced manner, but that coverage would have benefitted from more critical analysis and debates between candidates,” said Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, the Head of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) long-term election observation mission. “Unfortunately, the blurring of the distinction between the State and the ruling party continues to be an issue. This was demonstrated in the misuse of administrative resources, pressure on voters, and a lack of impartiality on the part of the public administration.”

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11 Comments

  1. Suzy said:

    The report contradicts itself in the same paragraph and should not be validated: “Unfortunately, the blurring of the distinction between the State and the ruling party continues to be an issue. This was demonstrated in the misuse of administrative resources, pressure on voters, and a lack of impartiality on the part of the public administration.” Marked improvement?

  2. 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.
    http://www.armradio.am/en/2013/02/19/foreign-parliamentary-experts-armenia-election-free-fair-and-transparent/
    Reply

    • AnaG. said:

      Armenian president re-elected, opposition cries foul – I agree! Isn’t it enough to go to meetings, it is 20 years that i know of they held meetings fighting with each other, and the contry? people? how can they be on that square all the time – GO T O WORK people

  3. Rostom said:

    It’s high time to speak out and to ask Sarkisian and his bunch of crooks to leave

  4. Tony said:

    Well, I’m not a fan for both; but, even, if there was a foul play, still, the gap is too big for Raffi H. to win. Please, no civil unrest that leads to bloodshed. A recount is ok when the vote difference is too close; remember when it happened between Al Gore and George bush in Florida when the recount showed approximately 164 votes difference between the two of them? I agree that the people who were behind the foul play should be punished and be put in jail.

  5. Satenik said:

    I am quite surprised that Asbares writes far more about Raffi Havhanisian than the man who actually won the election. There hasn’t been a single article (at least online of this paper), to inform us properly that Serj Sarkissian won the election. All the Turkish newspapers had articles and video clips about this in their papers on the day. There were over 300 international monitors to see that everything went accordingly. If there was such a rigged election, as it is nowclaimed by Raffi, do you think that these observers would not have sais so? Stop dividing the country! Lets get united and do something positive for Armenia!

  6. Floss Shahbegian said:

    Robert’s comments are evidence that this is someone who is one-sided & doesn’t give a hoot about the welfare of the people. I have never heard any intelligent decent Armenian speak so poorly of Raffi Hovannisian. Where has your head been buried Robert. The corruption in Armenia has been extensive and has existed for the past 21 years. Your comments sounded like the age old schism that has existed far too long with our people. It’s about time we mature. The corruption in Armenia has existed for the past 21 years while the people are still suffering. The do-nothing mind set is what made us lose our nation centuries ago. The Oligarchs and their display of their obscene & vulgar mansions is disgraceful especially when people don’t even have adequate shelter and sanitation. Do yourself a favor no do the people of Armenia a favor and do some extensive research.

  7. Artoush said:

    Raffi Hovannisian, you are a “sour looser” and acting like a “spoiled child”
    Please, for God’s sake, don’t follow LTP’s footsteps.

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