YEREVAN—Raffi Hovannisian and President Serzh Sarkisian met behind closed doors on Thursday to discuss results of Monday’s presidential elections in Armenia, which are being contested by the President’s main challenger and have been the source of ongoing political rallies in support of Hovannisian.
Sarkisian met with Hovannisian after the Heritage Party leader led hundreds of supporters who have been attending protest rallies down Baghramian Boulevard from Liberty Square to the steps of the Presidential Palace.
The crowd of protesters remained vigil at the entrance of the palace for 90 minutes, after which Hovannisian emerged to tell his supporters that he will publicize the results of the meeting at a rally at Liberty Square on Friday evening.
“The Armenian people will celebrate our victory in Liberty Square tomorrow at 5 pm,” Hovannisian declared.
The Presidential press office released a short video of the Sarkisian and Hovannisian greeting each other. During the exchange Sarkisain told Hovannisian “You look kind of sad,” to which Hovannisian replied: “No. Righteous,” adding “It’s nice to see you, Mr. Sarkisian.”
Sarkisian’s office issued a statement saying the meeting centered on a broad range of issues relating to the presidential elections and the post-election period.
“Serzh Sarkisian and Raffi Hovannisian emphasized the priority of carrying out all processes within the framework of Armenia’s constitution and laws,” said the statement.
U.S. shares EU concerns over Armenian vote
The European Union and members of an international observer mission expressed concern about the conduct of the election.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland issued a statement saying Washington shared concerns over the role of the Sargsyan’s ruling party during the campaign.
“We agree with the findings that while Election Day was calm and orderly, it was marked by undue interference in the process, mainly by proxies representing the incumbent, and some serious violations, including cases of pressure on voters,” she said.