Getting It Right? Armenia Chooses Ruling Party in "Fair" Election
Observers are calling Armenia's election fair, though opposition parties are crying foul. Independent observers have noted irregularities, but seem willing to let them slide-- no further details just yet, but that is enough to raise an eyebrow.
Pro-government parties in Armenia have won the largest share of the vote in the country's parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results.
The ruling Republican Party of Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan won almost 33% of the vote, officials said.
European observers said the vote largely met international standards, but that some more work was needed.
Opposition groups said Saturday's vote was falsified and have called for mass demonstrations in the capital, Yerevan.
Armenian officials have insisted the election was calm, positive and lawful.
This was Armenia's fourth election since it gained independence in 1991, but the last, in 2003, was judged not to have met democratic standards.
More than $200m of US development aid and the prospect of closer links with the European Union was at risk if the polls were condemned as unfair.
Preliminary results released on Sunday by electoral authorities showed the Republican Party had won more than 32.8% of the vote.
Prosperous Armenia, a comparatively new political party led by former world arm wrestling champion Gagik Tsarukian, won 14.7%.