YEREVAN, February 18. / ARKA /. A voter in Yerevan ate his ballot at a polling station in Nor Nork administrative district as his country fellows are voting today in the presidential election. According to the chairman of the precinct election commission Arman Simonyan, the voter, Arthur Minasyan, came out of the voting booth, ate his ballot, chanting simultaneously political slogans.
"Minasyan tried to violate the electoral process, and was removed from the precinct by police officers," Simonyan said.
According to some sources, Minasyan is the man behind a project called Network of Independent Journalists.
The highest post in the country is contested by seven candidates. The top contender is the incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, who is chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA). Other candidates are 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. The eighth candidate, National Unity Party leader Aram Harutyunyan, left the race on February 8.
There is no minimum voter turnout threshold in order for the elections to be valid and if a candidate wins more than 50% of the first round vote he will be elected president. A total of 2, 505, 980 people are entitled to vote. Under Armenia's election code, the day of the presidential elections is a non-working day. According to the Armenian law, the preliminary results will be announced February 19 no later than at 8 pm. and the final results will be announced seven days after the election. -0-