YEREVAN, February 18. /ARKA/. The presidential vote has already started in Armenia.
A total of 1988 polling stations opened throughout the country at 8 o’clock in the morning. The polling will continue till 20:00.
Seven nominees are running for the country’s president: incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, former prime minister and leader of Freedom party Hrant Bagratyan, former foreign minister and leader of Heritage party Raffi Hovhannisyan, well-known Soviet dissident and leader of National Self-Determination party Paruyr Hayrikyan, ex foreign minister of Karabakh Arman Melikyan, political scientist and head of Radio Hay Andrias Ghukasyan and specialist in epic studies Vardan Sedrakyan.
According to the police, total number of eligible voters in the national election is 2,505,980.
Under the Armenian laws, preliminary outcome of the vote will be known not later that February 19, 20:00; the final results are to be ready within seven days.
According to Armenia’s constitution, the candidate who gains more than half of all votes cast becomes President. If no contender has the required number of the votes, a run-off is held on the fourteenth day after the vote where two candidates with highest numbers of electoral votes advance into the next stage. The winner is the candidate who gains the most votes in the run-off.
Armenian president is elected for five years. Anyone permanently residing in Armenia for the last ten years who is at least 35 years old, has been Armenian citizen for the last ten years, and has the right to vote, can be elected President. The same person could be reelected only for a second term in succession.
A total of 6,251 representatives of 26 local NGOs and 632 observers from twelve international organizations will be watching the presidential ballot. In particular, the international observers’ missions are from OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, CIS mission, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, CE Parliamentary Assembly, CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, International expert Center for Electoral Systems (ICES) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Representatives of diplomatic missions in Armenia will also observe the election.
Election campaigns were held in the period from January 21 to February 16. –0--