YEREVAN, February 18. / ARKA /. Armenia’s incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan received 218 votes of Armenian diplomats and their family members stationed abroad who voted electronically, head of the Central Election Commission Tigran Mukuchyan said.
The Central Election Commission launched Feb. 8 a special section on its official website for electronic voting in the February 18 presidential election. According to Mukuchyan, out of 243 registered voters 228 participated and 4 ballots was declared invalid.
A former foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arman Melikyan, received 4 votes and Raffi Hovannisian, head of Heritage party, received 2 votes. The electronic voting lasted for 5 days. It was first tested in the parliamentary elections in May 2012.
The incumbent president Serge Sargsyan was re-elected for a second term in the first round of the election, according to an exit poll Monday. The poll of 19,130 voters conducted by Gallup International showed Sargsyan winning 58 percent of the ballot. The closest of his six rivals, is Raffi Hovanessian, Armenia’s first post-Soviet t foreign minister, who polled 32 percent. Full preliminary results are expected Tuesday.
The election was watched by 6,251 members of local NGOs and 632 observers from 12 international organizations, including OSCE/ODIHR., CIS Mission, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the International Center for Electoral Systems (ICES) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).
The highest post in the country was contested by seven candidates. The top contender was Serzh Sargsyan, who is chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA). Other candidates were Heritage party chairman Raffi Hovannisian, leader of Freedom party, former prime minister Hrant Bagratyan, former foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Arman Melikyan, National Self-Determination Union party head Paruyr Hayrikyan, Radio Hay director Andrias Ghukasyan and literature expert Vardan Sedrakyan. A total of 2, 505, 980 people were entitled to vote. The final results will be announced seven days after the election. -0-