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YEREVAN, February 19 (Itar-Tass) – Incumbent Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has won in the presidential elections in Armenia, the Armenian Central Elections Commission said on Tuesday, after counting the votes from all 1,988 polling stations. As many as 58.64 voters cast their votes for the republican leader, who is running for the second five-year presidential term, Chairman of the Armenian Central Elections Commission Tigran Mukuchyan said.
According to the preliminary results, the first foreign minister of independent Armenia and former US citizen Raffi Hovannisian, who heads the opposition parliamentary party Heritage, came second with 36.75% of votes.
Former Armenian prime minister in 1993-1996 and incumbent lawmaker and leader of the non-influential opposition party Freedom Grant Bagratyan has taken the third place with 2.15% of votes.
Former dissident Paruir Airikyan, who served about 18 years in Soviet prisons, correctional facilities and exile, is following the foresaid candidates. During the election campaign overnight to February 1 he has got a gunshot wound in attempted murder on him. He gained 1.23% of votes.
Andreas Gukasyan, who has been on hunger strike in downtown Yerevan since January 21, has got 0.57% of votes. A successful businessman and the head of the private radio station Radio Khai (radio of Armenia) stated on Monday that he will end his protest action on February 20 after the Central Election Commission will make public the preliminary results of the presidential elections.
A non-partisan expert on epic poems Vartan Sedrakyan polled 0.42% of votes. As Gukasyan, he is a new figure in politics and before the election campaign he was almost unknown to the broad public.
Finally, former Armenian charge d’affaires in Kazakhstan and then the foreign minister and a presidential adviser of the unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh republic Arman Melikyan came at the last place in the presidential race. He was running in the elections for the second time. He has got 0.24% of votes.
The law gives the time to Tuesday evening to the Central Elections Commission to sum up the preliminary results of the presidential elections.
Serzh Sargsyan was born on June 30, 1954 in the city Stepanakert in the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region in the Soviet Socialistic Republic of Azerbaijan. In 1979 he graduated from the philological department of the Yerevan State University. He is the Honorary Doctor of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.
From 1979 to 1988 he worked on different Communist party posts, in 1990-1993 he worked as a deputy of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia. Then he held the governing posts in the law enforcement agencies and headed the Armenian government in 2007-2008.
On February 19, 2008, Sargsyan was elected as president, gaining 52.82% of votes, and took the presidential post on April 9. He is the chairman of the Republican Party of Armenia.
He is married and has two daughters.