Armenia election marred by lack of competition - observers

YEREVAN Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:07am EST

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YEREVAN Feb 19 (Reuters) - Armenia's presidential election was an improvement on recent elections in the former Soviet republic but was not genuinely competitive, international observers said on Tuesday.

Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday's election, in which President Serzh Sarksyan was re-elected, was peaceful and generally well conducted.

"However, the limited field of candidates meant that the election was not genuinely competitive," they said in a written statement. "The candidates who did run were able to campaign in a free atmosphere and to present their views to voters, but the campaign overall failed to engage the public's interest."

Several of Sarksyan's potential rivals decided not to run in the election because they feared the election would be skewed in the president's favour.

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