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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Armenia Premier Rebuffs Criticism




YEREVAN, Armenia -- Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan, who will face ex-Communist leader Karen Demirchyan in a presidential election runoff, Thursday rebuffed criticism of the first round of voting.


Kocharyan won 38.82 percent of the vote in Monday's election and Demirchyan secured 30.62 percent to go into the runoff March 30, the election commission said. The other 10 candidates were eliminated.


The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the voting was flawed and voiced concern the violations would be repeated in the second round.


Kocharyan's supporters were blamed for most of the violations, but he dismissed many of the OSCE criticisms.


"I had some serious problems with several of the points that they made in their report," he told a news conference.


Kocharyan, who has been acting president since Levon Ter-Petrosyan resigned last month, said he had told OSCE observer group chief Sam Brown and technical coordinator Christopher Shields of his objections.