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  1. Presidential elections were held in Armenia on 18 February 2013. In the run-up to the elections, Armenian’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosyan and one of the richest men in the country Gagik Tsarukyan, also leader of the second largest parliamentary party Prosperous Armenia, withdrew from the race in December 2012. Many believed that no candidate would be able to challenge incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan, others stated that people see “absence of alternatives” and these factors caused great apathy among the public.[1][2] On 31 January 2013, candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan was shot, but he recovered soon and urged two other main opposition candidates Raffi Hovannisian and Hrant Bagratyan to unite around a single opposition candidate, in order to defeat President Sargsyan. On 10 February, he appealed to the Constitutional Court with a request to postpone the election for 14 days and stated that he will take it back in case the three main opposition candidate decide to unite around a single candidate, but he withdrew the appeal the next day.

    The elections resulted in a victory for incumbent President Sargsyan, who received 59% of the vote. Hovannisian came second with 37%, while the other candidates earned less than 4% of the total vote.[3]

    Sargsyan’s main opponent Raffi Hovannisian claimed victory due to alleged electoral fraud. In days following the election, mass protests took place on Yerevan’s Freedom Square. Hovannisian urged Sargsyan to accept “people’s victory” and concede his defeat.[4]

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