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Armenia: Ruling Party Wins Most Votes in Parliamentary Election

Yerevan, 27 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Armenia's ruling Republican Party of Armenia was confirmed today as the leader in the 25 May parliamentary election. The Central Election Commission announced preliminary results showing that the Republican Party, which is loyal to President Robert Kocharian, won 24.5 percent of the vote, while two other parties backing Kocharian together won 23 percent.

The commission said the Artarutiun (Justice) opposition bloc led by Stepan Demirchian, who lost to Kocharian in the presidential election in March, came in second with 14 percent. The commission said 51.5 percent of the electorate cast their votes.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) yesterday criticized the parliamentary election, saying that the process fell short of international standards. But OSCE officials said the vote was less flawed than the presidential election in March.