Sargsyan wins Armenian presidential race 2008-02-20 17:48:16   Print

Armenian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Serzh Sargsyan speaks to reporters after casting his ballot at a polling station in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, on Feb. 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
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    YEREVAN, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Armenia announced Wednesday that Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan won 52.86 percent of ballots in preliminary results from all 1923 polling stations.

    "According to results collected from all 1923 polling stations, Serzh Sargsyan won 863544 votes -- 52.86 percent of ballots," CEC President Garegin Azaryan told reporters about the preliminary results in a press release.

    The final results will be announced next Tuesday.

    The voter turnout was over 70 percent with about 1.67 million out of 2.32 million eligible voters across the mountainous Caucasus nation went to cast their ballots, Azaryan said.

    Sargsyan has already broken the 50-percent threshold of votes required by Armenian Electoral Code for the highest post of the nation and secured his victory in the election, ahead of eight other candidates to replace outgoing President Robert Kocharian, who is currently serving his second and final five-year term.

    The second and third places were first President Levon Ter-Petrosyan who won 21.5 percent and opposition leader and former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasaryan who won 16.67 percent.

    Armenians went to 1,923 polling stations across the mountainous Caucasus nation on Tuesday.

    Sargsyan was appointed prime minister in April 2007, and gainedre-appointment to the post in June to head the new cabinet, formed as a result of the May parliamentary elections.

    Sargsyan is a member of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) since 2006.

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