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Armenian Investigators End Probe Of Election Complaints

Nikol Pashinian, a jailed opposition newspaper editor, placed second in the vote.
YEREVAN -- Armenia's Special Investigation Service (SIS) has closed its investigations into complaints of violations at two Yerevan polling stations during a parliamentary by-election last month, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

The outcome of the vote at those polling stations was annulled due to the complaints. But the SIS said on Thursday that it failed to find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said on Wednesday that a third case, in which a district election commission head allegedly falsified voter lists, has been sent to court.

Ara Simonian, a member of the pro-government National Unity Party, officially won the ballot with 57 percent of the vote. Opposition newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian, who was found guilty of organizing mass disturbances after the 2008 presidential election and sentenced to seven years in jail on January 19, placed second with 37.5 percent.

The opposition Armenian National Congress, of which Pashinian is a member, denounced the outcome of the election as rigged.