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Armenia president secures re-election

Armenia president secures re-election
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Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan appears headed for a second five-year term. Exit polls suggest he has gained 58 per cent of votes cast.

The last presidential election, in 2008, was marred by clashes in which 10 people were killed, but there were no immediate reports of violence.

His closest rival Raffi Hovannisian has 32 per cent and the lack of serious competition has led many to question the democratic credentials of the poll.

Questions also linger over security in a nation locked in a dispute with neighbouring Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian-majority enclave inside Azerbaijan over which
Armenians and Azeris fought a war in the 1990s.

The contest was also overshadowed by an attempt to kill a minor candidate. Paruyr Hayrikyan, 63, an outsider in the election. He was shot in the shoulder last month.

But Sarksyan will also hope the election secures the approval of international observers and ensure some stability after years of war and upheaval.

Final results are expected by Tuesday.