Armenians will have a choice of eight candidates when they vote in a presidential ballot on February 18, but few doubt that President Serzh Sargsyan will win re-election easily.
The most significant opposition figures – Levon Ter-Petrosyan, leader of the Armenian National Congress, and Gagik Tsarukyan of Prosperous Armenia – have declined to take part, leaving the way clear for Sargsyan...
Analysts say the president is the favourite to win partly because he controls the administrative mechanisms of state, and has access to greater financial and media resources than the other seven candidates put together.The main opposition parties are calling for a boycott, and while the seven opposition candidates are trying to tout the ouster of Mikhail Saakashvili in Georgia, there are seven of them to divide the vote. Sarkisian is the hand-picked successor of Robert Kocharian, and part of a faction sometimes called the "Karabakh Party" because they come from that region. Sarkisian won a contested election in 2008, and faced further Arab Spring-related protests in 2011.