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Armenia: Polls Close In Parliament Elections

Yerevan, 25 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Armenians voted for members of parliament today, and the Central Elections Commission estimated that 43 percent of the 2.4 million eligible voters cast ballots before the polls closed. There is no minimum turnout requirement, and the official results must be announced within 28 hours of the polls closing.

President Robert Kocharian pledged today to minimize possible electoral fraud. But Rusanna Khachatrian, a spokeswoman for the opposition Justice bloc, said members heard "a lot of complaints" of rigged voting, including attempts to bribe voters.

The opposition bloc is lead by Stepan Demirchian, who lost to Kocharian in March balloting that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said failed to meet accepted standards of openness and that was marred by irregularities.