Armenia: big protest as president is sworn in again

Armenia: big protest as president is sworn in again
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Thousands of people packed into Yerevan’s Freedom Square to protest against the inauguration of Serzh Sarksyan for his second term as Armenia’s president.

The defeated candidate even went on hunger strike for a while, claiming the election had been rigged.

The first time Sarksyan was elected in 2008 riots led to 10 deaths.

“I don’t want someone like Sarksyan as president,” said Knyaz Minasyan, an opposition demonstrator. “I want someone who loves Armenia and thinks about its future.”

He took up office again after his defeated opponent had lodged 70 complaints with the electoral commission, but its conclusion was that they were based neither on fact nor legal evidence.

Sarksyan oversaw a return to economic growth after years of stagnation in Armenia although there is still widespread poverty in the former Soviet republic.

The latest World Bank statistics available showed more than a third of the population living in poverty in 2010.

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