ARMENIA: VOTE 2007
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Free and fair? Take a look back at the controversy surrounding Armenia’s 2007 parliamentary elections.

2008
Media Scuffle Marks Start of Armenia’s Presidential Campaign: January 25, 2008
With the official start of Armenia’s presidential election campaign this week, candidates are taking to the airwaves to make a broad array of political promises.
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Candidates Kick Off Armenian Presidential Campaign: January 22, 2008
Candidates presented their manifestos and held first meetings with voters on Monday as campaigning officially got underway for Armenia’s presidential election that will determine outgoing President Robert Kocharian’s successor.
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Armenia: Smear Tactics Feature Prominently in Early Presidential Election Campaigning: January 09, 2008
With just under six weeks to go before Armenia’s presidential election, the field of candidates is coming into sharper focus. Overall, nine men are expected to battle for the presidency when the campaign season officially gets underway January 21. But most experts believe the race quickly will boil down to a contest between two men – incumbent Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and former president Levon Ter-Petrosian.
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Armenia: Planned Presidential Election Exit Poll Creates Controversy: January 07, 2008
The United States has offered to organize and finance a first-ever exit poll in Armenia as part of an effort to promote a free-and-fair presidential election on February 19. The initiative has been endorsed by the election favorite, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, while causing serious misgivings among his main challengers.
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2007
Armenia: Governing Party Prepares for Presidential Election: Novement 12, 2007
Armenia’s dominant political party is not taking the upcoming presidential election lightly. At its recent party congress, the Republican Party of Armenia nominated Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian to be its presidential candidate in the February 19 election. Party leaders also opened a rhetorical offensive against Sarkisian’s main challenger, former president Levon Ter-Petrosian.
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Armenia Backs OSCE Monitoring Curbs Ahead of Presidential Vote: Novement 11, 2007
With only four months to go before Armenia’s next presidential election, Yerevan has endorsed controversial Russian proposals that would seriously restrict the work of Western election observers acting under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
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Ter-Petrosian: Is Armenia Ready for a Comeback?: October 30, 2007
Both in public and in private, one question has dominated conversations in Armenia over the past month: Will Levon Ter-Petrosian’s return to politics prove a true comeback?
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Armenia’s Ter-Petrosian Sets Stage for Tense Presidential Vote: November 29, 2007
After nearly a decade of self-imposed political retirement, Armenia’s former President Levon Ter-Petrosian is seeking a return to power. His decision, anticipated for months, renders the outcome of an upcoming presidential election unpredictable.
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Armenia: Former President Lashes Out at Incumbent Administration: November 02, 2007
A speech by former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian, coupled with speculation about his possible candidacy in the 2008 presidential elections, has roiled Armenia’s political waters.
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Armenian Ex-President Mulls Dramatic Comeback: August 30, 2007
Levon Ter-Petrosian, Armenia’s former president widely acclaimed in the West for his conciliatory line on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is considering returning to active politics and, in particular, contesting a forthcoming presidential election. His comeback would mark a dramatic turn in the unfolding presidential race which the Armenian authorities hope will formalize a planned handover of power from President Robert Kocharian to Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian. The issue has dominated the Armenian political discourse and press commentary for the past several weeks.
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Armenia: A Coalition Government Amidst Conflict: June 07, 2007
Nearly one month after Armenia’s parliamentary vote, a coalition agreement between the Republican Party of Armenia and Prosperous Armenia Party has sealed a much-anticipated power pact between the country’s two largest political parties. The agreement comes amidst what some analysts describe as an attempt by the Republican Party to stamp out election-related violence ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
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Archive of 2007 Parliamentary Elections

Free and fair? Take a look back at the controversy surrounding Armenia’s 2007 parliamentary elections.
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2006
Armenia: "Oligarchic" Party Gaining Ground Ahead of 2007 Vote: December 20, 2006
Multi-millionaire businessman Gagik Tsarukian is using populist appeal and vast financial resources to make his political party, Prosperous Armenia, a strong potential contender in next springis parliamentary elections.
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Armenia: Arrest of Government Critic on Coup Charges Prompts Concern : December 14, 2006
As political tensions in Armenia rise ahead of next yearis parliamentary elections, the arrest of a former Nagorno-Karabakh military commander critical of the Armenian governmentis talks with Azerbaijan is raising fresh concerns about how the vote will be conducted.
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Armenian Government, Parties Prepare for Parliamentary Polls: November 09, 2006
Armeniais leading political groups are gearing up for next springis parliamentary elections, which could determine who succeeds President Robert Kocharian in 2008. A key issue surrounding the legislative vote is whether Armenia will be able to shed its post-Soviet reputation for electoral fraud.
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Armeniais Constitutional Court Takes on New Political Weight: October 26, 2006
As the date for Armeniais parliamentary elections draws closer, recent amendments that diversify access to the Constitutional Court, the countryis highest judicial body, have expanded the opportunities for the opposition and ordinary citizens alike to take aim at the government.
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Armenia to Diaspora: It Takes a Global Village: September 28, 2006
In a bid to boost economic development, Armenia has unveiled an ambitious plan to enlist the support of the countryis Diaspora population to promote the revitalization of border villages. Representatives of the Diaspora have reacted positively to the plan, but conditioned their support on a government commitment to democratic principles.
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Opposition Party Still Under Lock and Key: July 28, 2006
Armeniais opposition Heritage Party has been blocked from entering its rented offices as part of an ongoing property dispute that party sympathizers say is politically motivated.
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2005
Armenian Opposition Seeks to Regroup After Constitutional Referendum SetbackDecember 15, 2005
Armenia’s main opposition parties are reeling following the collapse of their latest attempt to foster mass protests against President Robert Kocharian’s administration.
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West Unlikely to Sanction Armenia Following Another Troubled Vote: December 12, 2005
The United States and the European Union have criticized Armenian authorities’ handling of a recent constitutional referendum but they seem reluctant to impose sanctions on Yerevan over the irregularities. At the same time, Washington and Brussels are withholding support for the Armenian opposition’s renewed attempts to organize mass protests.
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Turnout Controversy Clouds Armenian Constitutional Referendum: November 29, 2005
Opposition forces in Armenia are protesting against what they say was a rigged referendum, in which constitutional amendments were supposedly approved by 93 percent of voters.
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Challenges Ahead for Armenia's Constitutional Vote: October 13, 2005
Armenia is bracing for a contentious constitutional referendum in November. The opposition’s refusal to accept President Robert Kocharian’s proposed changes to Armenia’s constitution has put it at loggerheads with the international community, which has backed the amendments.
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Armenia’s Draft Constitution Divides Opposition: August 3, 2005
Strong support from the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission for Armenia’s draft constitution promises to bolster President Robert Kocharian in his ongoing feud with the country’s opposition. With a draft document that meets many of their earlier concerns, opposition leaders are now divided over what further course to take. Even while the largest opposition faction has announced plans to continue its boycott of parliament, most other opposition leaders now appear ready for cooperation with the government.
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United States Adopts Cautious Stance on Armenia’s Democratization: June 22, 2005
The United States has stepped up efforts to promote democratization in former Soviet states in recent years. Accordingly, opposition leaders in Armenia are hopeful of receiving Washington’s support for a renewed push to force President Robert Kocharian’s administration from power in Yerevan. But US officials seem anxious to squelch such expectations, insisting that they harbor no regime-change ambitions for Armenia.
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Armenia’s Opposition: In Search of a Revolution: April 19, 2005
Opposition predictions of an upcoming "popular revolution" continue to be heard in Armenia, but most local observers say that major opposition parties are not well positioned to realize their revolutionary aspirations.
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Armenia’s Opposition Leaders Seek US Support: March 30, 2005
The Armenian opposition is growing frustrated with the European Union’s apparent reluctance to press hard for political reform in Yerevan. Opposition leaders now regard the United States as the only potential source of external support for their efforts to force President Robert Kocharian’s resignation and to open Armenia’s political system.
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Armenia: US Support for Kocharian Holds Firm: February 22, 2005
When a top US diplomat recently referred to Nagorno-Karabakh leaders as "criminal secessionists," policymakers and pundits in Yerevan worried that the White House was rethinking its support for Armenian President Robert Kocharian’s administration.
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Armenian Opposition Offers Government Deal On Constitutional Reform: January 27, 2005
Armenian opposition leaders have sent feelers to President Robert Kocharian and his allies on a constitutional deal. The initiative could break a lengthy deadlock that has prevented the president from amending Armenia’s controversial basic law. At the same time, the opposition’s surprise move poses political risks for Kocharian.
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2004
Row Over Electoral Reform Splitting Armenian Coalition: November 23, 2004
An increasingly bitter dispute over election rules for future parliamentary elections could cause a split within Armenia’s governing coalition.
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Armenian Political Standoff Drags on As Opposition Shuns Parliament: August 31, 2004
Armenian opposition leaders recently announced they would prolong their boycott of parliament. The announcement appeared to dash President Robert Kocharian’s hopes of putting to rest questions about his administration’s legitimacy.
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A New Vision for Armenia?: June 24, 2004
As the United States and the European Union step up their engagement with the South Caucasus in the wake of Georgia’s "Rose Revolution," Armenia is taking steps not to be left behind.
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Armenian Opposition Vows More Protests Despite Government Crackdown: April 14, 2004
The leaders of Armenia’s opposition vow to press on with a protest campaign designed to force President Robert Kocharian’s resignation, even after police resorted to force in breaking up a demonstration in Yerevan. The police action has prompted some international organizations, including the Council of Europe, to express concern about the democratization process in Armenia.
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Government Forcibly Breaks Up Opposition Protest: April 13, 2004
Police in Armenia used stun grenades and water cannon to disperse an opposition protest during the early hours of April 13 in Yerevan. In addition, authorities closed the offices of two leading opposition political parties involved in organizing the demonstration, which President Robert Kocharian said threatened the country’s "constitutional order."
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Opposition Launches ’Permanent’ Protests In Yerevan: April 9, 2004
Supporters of President Mikheil Saakashvili claimed an overwhelming victory in Georgia's March 28 parliamentary election - a vote that international observers viewed as the fairest in the country's post-Soviet history. Nevertheless, the vote left opposition parties disgruntled, and it appears likely to lead to more tension between the central government and the renegade province of Ajaria.
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Armenian Authorities Carry Out Preemptive Roundup of Opposition Activists: April 6, 2004
In an apparent effort to preempt an opposition campaign to force "the departure of the illegitimate regime," Armenian authorities have conducted a roundup of opposition activists in recent days. Opposition leaders vow to continue with plans to stage massive protests designed to force the resignation of President Robert Kocharian. Meanwhile, the building threat of political violence has prompted a member of Armenia’s governing coalition to issue a call for dialogue between the opposing political forces.
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Armenia Braces For Political Upheaval: April 1, 2004
Armenia’s leadership and opposition are gearing up for a potentially violent confrontation. An opposition coalition is planning to hold massive anti-government protests in early April. Some opposition leaders have publicly called for the resignation of President Robert Kocharian and have advocated civil disobedience to achieve that end. Authorities have responded by threatening to crack down on opposition leaders for attempting to "seize state power with violence."
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Armenia’s Ruling Coalition Beset by Renewed Infighting: February 13, 2004
Armenia faces a potential governmental crisis after the leader of one of the three parties in the governing coalition attacked his partners and President Robert Kocharian, accusing them of undermining the state’s best interests. The controversy underscores the high level of political tension that lingers within Armenia’s political establishment, mainly connected to the conduct of parliamentary elections in 2003.
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2003
Armenian Leaders Scramble To Avert Punitive Action by the Council of Europe: August 28, 2003
Armenia’s leadership wants to stave off punitive action by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) over the conduct of presidential and parliamentary elections earlier this year. President Robert Kocharian’s administration appears poised to take quick action to formally abolish the death penalty in Armenia in the hope that it will mollify PACE.
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Parliament Attack Trial Sparks Renewed Controversy In Armenia: August 20, 2003
The long-running trial of six gunmen that seized Armenia’s parliament nearly four years ago is entering its final phase amid renewed opposition allegations of a high-level cover-up.
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Armenian Leader Unites Top Allies in New Coalition Government: June 13, 2003
Armenian President Robert Kocharian has engineered a power-sharing arrangement that puts an end, at least for now, to debilitating infighting among his most influential political allies. Over the near term, the deal involving Armenia’s three largest pro-presidential parties could give the president a stronger hand in the continuing standoff with his political opponents.
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US Election Monitors Give Recent Armenian Election and Referendum Mixed Review: June 11, 2003
Armenia’s recent parliamentary vote and constitutional referendum offers "both great disappointment and great hope" for the country’s democratic development, according to organizers of an election monitoring mission. The organizers specifically noted an improvement in media coverage of the campaign. At the same time, they lambasted the "faking" of the constitutional referendum.
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Apathetic Mood Settles Over Armenia Following Parliamentary Election: June 4, 2003
An apathetic mood has settled over Armenia following the country’s parliamentary elections, which, like the presidential vote earlier this year, was tainted by voting irregularities. There have been few protests over the election results, which have given pro-presidential parties a controlling stake in the new parliament. International observers have expressed concern that Armenians are becoming disillusioned with the democratic process.
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Parliamentary Elections Fail To Change Armenian Status Quo: May 27 , 2003
Armeniais parliamentary elections have re-ignited smoldering political tension in the country. Opposition leaders are crying foul after the pro-government party swept to a victory in the election, which was marked by low turnout.
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A "Wonderful" Day at Armenian Polling Station Masks Underlying Trouble: May 27, 2003
Armeniais parliamentary elections drew fewer and milder reports of election irregularities than the disputed victory of President Robert Kocharian did in early March. Nonetheless, observers encountered irregularities, including intimidation and falsification of voting results. International observers also made special mention of the low turnout, which they said reflected a "lack of confidence" in Armeniais democratic institutions.
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Coalition Government Likely Outcome of May 25 Parliament Elections in Armenia: May 22, 2003
Armeniais parliamentary vote May 25 will likely reflect the divisions in society that have opened since President Robert Kocharianis controversial re-election just over two months ago. Opinion polls show that no party will be able to win a parliamentary majority, signaling the likelihood of a coalition government.
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Armenia: New Parliament To Be Elected Amid Lingering Political Tensions: May 4, 2003
Armenian President Robert Kocharian, still reeling from allegations of vote rigging that marred his recent re-election, has hardly opted for a conventional way of retaining control of his countryis parliament. Unlike many other post-Soviet leaders, he has no party of his own and has never tried to establish one throughout his five-year presidency.
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A Tense Armenia Gears Up for Another Election: April 1, 2003
Armenia continues to grapple with the political fallout from President Robert Kocharianis hotly disputed reelection in March. But increasingly, Armeniais political elite is focusing on the next struggle: parliamentary elections that are scheduled for May 25.
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Election Criticism Causing Pro-Western Shift in Armenian Public Opinion: March 13, 2003
The ongoing controversy surrounding Armenia’s presidential election is producing geopolitical tremors. Allegations of ballot-rigging are prompting many citizens to reexamine their traditionally pro-Russian sentiments. At the same time, the disputed vote may push President Robert Kocharian’s administration to tighten already firm relations with Russia.
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Opposition Refuses to Admit Defeat in Armenia, Protests Continue: March 10, 2003
During Armenia’s presidential campaign, incumbent Robert Kocharian cast himself as the best custodian of the country’s stability. Now, in the aftermath of the country’s contentious presidential vote, Kocharian finds himself a lightning rod for widespread discontent. Opposition leaders and their supporters insist the elections were rigged and are refusing to recognize the results, setting the stage for a destabilizing political stand-off.
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Armenia Poll Sparks Domestic Outcry, Western Criticism: March 7, 2003
Armenian President Robert Kocharian, still reeling from allegations of vote rigging that marred his recent re-election, has hardly opted for a conventional way of retaining control of his countryis parliament. Unlike many other post-Soviet leaders, he has no party of his own and has never tried to establish one throughout his five-year presidency.
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Second Round of Armenia’s Presidential Election Marred by Fraud Allegations: March 6, 2003
Election officials say President Robert Kocharian is the winner of Armenia’s presidential run-off. Opposition candidate Stepan Demirchian, however, is not conceding defeat, as allegations of systematic fraud have again marred Armenia’s electoral process.
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Campaigning in Armenia Ends on Rancorous Note Ahead of March 5 Presidential Run-Off: March 4, 2003
Both presidential candidates in Armenia mobilized their supporters, as campaigning ahead of a March 5 run-off wound down on a rancorous note. Meanwhile, the Central Election Commission, which drew broad international criticism for its handling of the first round of voting, has announced that preliminary run-off results will take at least two days to compile.
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Armenia Opposition Facing Crackdown Ahead of Presidential Run-Off: February 28, 2003
Armenian authorities are cracking down on opposition activists in what international human rights advocates call a "clumsy attempt" to secure President Robert Kocharian’s reelection in a March 5 run-off. The arrests of over 150 opposition supporters have come amid growing complaints about governmental vote-rigging during the initial stage of the presidential election.
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Monitoring Reports Provide Details on Election Violations in Armenia: February 27, 2003
Reports prepared by an election monitoring group in Armenia detail widespread violations during all phases of the country’s first-round of presidential election. The reports question the impartiality of those entrusted with overseeing the balloting, thus raising concern about the legitimacy of the upcoming March 5 run-off between incumbent President Robert Kocharian and Stepan Demirchian.
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Incumbent Draws on Critical "Resource" in Armenian Vote: February 26, 2003
The dramatic turn in Armenia’s presidential election, which is heading toward a run-off on March 5, has thrown light on a political practice that President Robert Kocharian has relied upon extensively, political observers say. This practice, characterized as "administrative resources," refers to the use of state agencies during campaigns and elections in favor of a particular candidate favored by incumbent authority.
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Presidential Run-Off Raises Opposition’s Hopes in Armenia: February 21, 2003
President Robert Kocharian’s failure to secure re-election in the first round of Armenia’s presidential elections makes a change in executive authority a real possibility. As recently as January, Kocharian seemed assured of securing a second five-year term. Now, he faces an unpredictable March 5 run-off with Stepan Demirchian.
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Armenia Faces Presidential Run-Off Amid Ballot-Stuffing Complaints: February 20, 2003
Armenia faces a contentious run-off presidential election in early March, as President Robert Kocharian narrowly missed reaching the 50 percent barrier needed to secure outright victory in the first round. Claims of ballot-rigging, made by Kocharian’s leading presidential rivals, marred the February 19 election.
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Armenian Diaspora Looks for Presidential Vote to Promote Stable Growth: February 18, 2003
Members of the Armenian Diaspora in North America will closely monitor the presidential election in Armenia on February 19. For some, especially those with commercial interests in Armenia, the result is perhaps less important than the desire for a transparent and fairly conducted election. The Diaspora community ultimately is eager to see the elections contribute to an Armenia that is more transparent and attractive for investors.
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Armenia’s Kocharian Stresses the Positive as Campaign Crests: February 14, 2003
Armenian President Robert Kocharian is heading into February 19 presidential elections with an upbeat message. Basing his campaign on the themes of "stability" and "progress," the incumbent says that Armenia is gradually emerging from its post-Soviet economic slump and needs to grant him a second term in order to finally turn the corner.
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Opposition Support Grows Louder as Armenian Elections Near: February 10, 2003
Large numbers of Armenians are turning out for opposition campaign rallies as the country prepares for presidential elections February 19. Though the opposition remains divided, the evident popularity of President Robert Kocharian’s rivals may make it difficult for the incumbent to avoid a run-off election. Some Kocharian critics are complaining that the president is improperly utilizing state media and personnel in order to boost his support and avoid a run-off election.
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Murder of Armenian State TV Chief Heightens Political Tension: January 17, 2003
The criminal investigation into the December murder of the chief of Armenia’s state television and radio appears to be deadlocked amid bitter recriminations traded by pro-government and opposition forces. Each side holds the other responsible for the killing that has heightened political tensions ahead of presidential elections scheduled for February 19.
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Graft is a recurring complaint among Armenian voters, but how deep do the problems actually lie?
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