Armenian state officials ‘planned post-election coup’

February 24th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by admin  

Yerevan, Feb 24 (DPA) Several high state officials loyal to former president Levon Ter-Petrosian planned a coup in Armenia after the defeat of the opposition there in last week’s presidential election, the state leadership was quoted as saying Sunday. The police detained deputy prosecutor-general Gagik Jangiryan, his brother and two justice officials, Interfax news agency reported from Yerevan.

Besides, President Robert Kocharian dismissed the deputy foreign minister and three ambassadors who had backed the opposition, the report said.

Ter-Petrosian, who won 21.43 percent of Tuesday’s vote, had accused the government of beating and kidnapping of supporters during the election.

Official results from the Central Election Committee (CEC) showed Wednesday that prime minister Serzh Sarkisian took 52.86 percent of the votes with the final ballots counted.

The results put Sarkisian just over the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off with the second-place finisher after a bitterly contested election campaign.

Observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the day after the polling that the criteria for a democratic election had been fulfilled.

But the OSCE said public mistrust in the electoral process and interference by state apparatus has to be reduced in the future.

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