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Thousands Protest In Yerevan Against President's Reelection

Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian is greeted by supporters in Yerevan's Liberty Square on February 22
Thousands of people gathered in Armenia's capital Yerevan to protest the reelection of President Serzh Sarkisian.

Former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian, who finished second in the February 18 election, told a rally of about 8,000 supporters that he would continue to push for an annulment of the vote.

Sarkisian was reelected to a second term with 58.6 percent of the vote, compared to nearly 37 percent for Hovanissian.

Hovanissian says the election was rigged.

He told protesters that the president, at a meeting on February 21, had rejected his demand for a rerun of the vote.

Hovannisian's supporters plan to hold protests against the election outcome on February 23 in the three cities -- Ashtarak, Gyumri and Vanadzor -- where Hovannisian won the vote.

Another protest is planned in Yerevan a day later.