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EU has concerns about Armenian vote

Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:39 PM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The European Union said it expects there may be outstanding issues following the release of preliminary results of the Armenian presidential election.

Incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan secured a second term with a preliminary majority of the vote cast in Monday's election.

Catherine Ashton, the top foreign policy chief for the European Union, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule issued a statement Wednesday saying they welcomed the conduct of the elections.

"We expect a number of outstanding concerns to be followed up appropriately in the future, including reported instances of partiality by public servants, claims of misuse of administrative resources, unclear interpretation of campaign financing provisions and cases of pressure on voters" their statement added.

An international election observation mission expressed similar concerns, saying that while the election was calm and orderly, there were signs of interference at the polls, primarily by those representing Sargsyan.

In 2008, opposition leaders in Armenia called for protests in the capital city citing irregularities in the presidential elections. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports "several thousand" supporters of the main challenger, former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian, called for the latest results to be overturned.

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