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Jailed Armenian Journalist Appeals Election Result To High Court

Nikol Pashinian in court in Yerevan in October
YEREVAN -- Jailed Armenian opposition journalist Nikol Pashinian has appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the results of the January 10 parliamentary by-election, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

On January 10, Pashinian ran as a candidate in a parliamentary by-election, finishing second with 37 percent of the vote.

Pashinian and opposition party officials said the by-election was held despite numerous violations of the election law and therefore its results should be voided.

A district election commission ordered a recount of two precincts, and the recount showed that Pashinian had won. Initial results had given those precincts to his rival, a pro-government candidate.

The regional election committee declined Pashinian's request to cancel the results and certified them as official.

Pashinian was found guilty of organizing mass disturbances that followed the 2008 presidential election and sentenced to seven years in jail on January 19.

Supporters and rights organizations say the case against him is politically motivated.