On February 18, Armenians head to the polls to vote for a president. RFE/RL's Armenian Service, Radio Azatutyun, has provided comprehensive coverage of the unfolding presidential race, which has seen some extraordinary developments of late, including an assassination attempt against one opposition candidate and hunger strikes by two others.
In addition to exclusive interviews with several of the candidates, the service's election coverage has included a live Facebook press conference with one of the hunger-striking candidates, giving Radio Azatutyun's followers a rare opportunity to pose questions directly.
On February 13, RFE/RL's Armenian Service hosted a Google Hangout featuring Armenian Service Director Hrair Tamrazian, analyst Richard Giragosian, and RFE/RL journalists Artur Papyan and Ruzanna Stepanyan (see full biographies below).
Watch the archived discussion here. Follow the latest from Armenia on Facebook or on Twitter @RFERL or by using the hashtag #armvote13.
-- Hrair Tamrazian, RFE/RL's Armenian Service director, has conducted exclusive interviews with four of the main contenders and moderated the February 13 discussion. During his journalistic career, Tamrazian has covered major international events, most notably the 1992 United Nations session during which the former states of the Soviet Union became UN members as independent nations and the U.S.-mediated talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
-- Richard Giragosian is the founding director of the Regional Studies Center, an independent think tank located in Yerevan that conducts a wide range of research and policy analysis covering political, economic, and security issues in the broader South Caucasus region. He also serves as a visiting professor and senior expert at the Yerevan State University's Center for European Studies and is a contributing analyst for "Oxford Analytica," a London-based global analysis and advisory firm.
-- Artur Papyan is a journalist with RFE/RL's Armenian Service. In addition to authoring the blog "The Armenian Observer," he also serves as a visiting professor on the faculty of journalism at Yerevan State Linguistic University. In the past, Papyan has worked as the director of the Media Diversity Institute in Armenia and has produced talk shows and documentaries while freelancing as a media trainer and IT/new media consultant.
-- Ruzanna Stepanyan is an award-winning journalist working for RFE/RL's Armenian Service. As one of the most recognized names in Armenian journalism, her daily reports and exclusive interviews reflect the top political developments in the country.