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Armenian President Signals Dialogue With Hunger-Striking Opponent

Raffi Hovannisian
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has signaled his readiness for a dialogue with his hunger-striking presidential election challenger, Raffi Hovannisian.

The presidential press service made public a letter from Sarkisian to Hovannisian on March 25.

He urged Hovannisian to stop his two-week-long hunger strike and engage in talks.

Sarkisian's message was in response to a letter from Hovannisian on March 22.

It offered recognition of Sarkisian's victory in the February 18 presidential poll in exchange for a promise that parliamentary elections would be held by the end of the year.

Hovannisian also demanded electoral reforms and the right to select officials for several key government positions.

He warned of mass protests if his demands are not met.

According to official election results, Sarkisian won more than 58 percent of the vote, while Hovannisian came in second with nearly 37 percent.

Based on reporting by Interfax and